Friday, July 31, 2009

In My Travels...

Over the past week or two I've come across some interesting things in my travels. A recent ride on RTS #0010 revealed that not only has the axle-grinding problem (which produces a foul odor in the rear of the bus) not been fixed, but part of the steering column housing has disappeared as well! The speedometer also did not seem to work; it stated that we were traveling across the Tobin Bridge at zero miles per hour. The sooner that bus is sent to Everett to be scrapped, the better!

It seems that the Silver Line Washington Street extension to South Station is a step closer to becoming a reality. At least four of the Neoplan AN460's (i.e. the buses used on the Route 39 and SL Washington) have been repainted from the general MBTA paint scheme into Silver Line colors. I spotted 1030 broken down at Newton Street several days ago:

Sorry for the terrible photo.

Now with these four buses having been repainted (1018, 1019, and 1020 are the others), it seems only natural that bus assignments out of Southampton Garage would change. There are 44 sixty-foot buses in the MBTA fleet; all assigned to Southampton. With fewer "normal colored" buses available, all Route 32 trips have been dropped from the garage. Arborway will now provide all the equipment for this route. Southampton had formerly offered five articulated buses for rush hour service on the line.

No more 60' buses for rush hour service? Crowding will surely worsen on the high ridership Hyde Park route! To offset this, two or three Arborway buses have been added to the line for increased capacity. The improved rush hour headway is now every 3-4 mins. I plan to take a ride and see how things are going.

At least the Forest Hills inspector will no longer have to deal with this:

Occasionally, Southampton would send out one of their 40' New Flyer C40s instead of a sixty-footer. Very helpful!

The MBTA fare increase/service cuts workshops are coming up next week (August 10th-27th). I have yet to see tangible booklets detailing the particulars being distributed, but at least a few people managed to get their hands on them:

Found on the floor of an Orange Line train laid up at Oak Grove

I plan on attending several workshops and the final hearing at the State Transportation Building. Visit the MBTA website for workshop dates and locations. Ten points if you can find where to click on the homepage in five minutes or less.

As a final note, I snapped these two pics:

Notice anything unusual?

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