Keolis Snow Removal plan
|February 17, 2015|
I don't know if a Snow Removal plan was done with Keolis and the MBTA in 2014. Keolis signed the agreement on July 1st, 2014:
"We will establish and provide a snow removal plan to the MBTA for approval no later than Labor Day of each Agreement Year. The plan will identify labor, equipment, materials, management, repair facilities, chronological station assignments, initial starting points, back-up contractors, important names and phone numbers, and preseason activities. The plan will include a strategy for effectively utilizing our labor resources during storm events. The plan will also identify responsibilities in Transportation, Mechanical, and Customer Service areas. All preseason activities (including shovels, brooms, pushers, snow blowers, gas, oil, sand, and salt stored at all locations. Labor forces assigned to draw and swing span bridges equipped with brooms, shovels, salt and sand) will be pre-positioned by November 15 of each Agreement Year This material will be treated as Critical Material as provided by the Materials Management requirements of the RFP." - Keolis Operations and Management Proposal (Page 154)
Based on the events on February 2015, I certainly would be interested in what was proposed in the plan.
Winter Schedule Adjustments
|February 11, 2015|
One of the mistakes that the MBTA made in today's winter schedule adjustment is not adding more time between stations. All the trains were running slow because of the snow conditions. I was surprised to even see my train still plowing snow as it arrived at the Framingham station since this was the 5th train of the morning.
It appears that when the MBTA made the schedule change, they only took out the express trains. In the future, they should factor in speed adjustments between stations. In, addition, having fewer trains means that more commuters will be waiting to board the train. As a result, it means the train would be staying at the station longer. None of this was taken into consideration in today's schedule.
Another issue that I saw this morning was a lot of snow near the stairs as you get on the train. I saw a couple of commuters nearly slip because of the snow/ice near the stairs. The conductors should have the ability to remove the snow in between stops.
On a positive note, it was good to see the MBTA using double deckers to handle the large number of commuters this morning. The trains were nice and warm too.
MBTA Recovery Schedule
|February 10, 2015|
I just uploaded a quick chart of the changes that the MBTA did to the Framingham Commuter Rail for todays winter recovery. The biggest change in the schedule is that there is no express train.
The MBTA says, "The Commuter Rail system will operate on a modified weekday schedule, making approximately 70% of the trips regularly scheduled. "
According to the MBTA about 75% of the parking spots are available in the Framingham Commuter lot. I know for a fact that about 8 spaces were lost because of the recent plowing. Framingham still has a Parking ban, so if your not able to get a parking space in the lot, then your fresh out of luck. Also there is no parking along Pearl or Park Street. The town of Framingham will be towing on Wednesday.
Additional MBTA Parking spaces
|February 5, 2015|
The MBTA parking lot in Framingham can handle 166 cars on any given day. Did you know that the lot can easily handle at least 5 more cars with very little effort. This is because in the middle of the parking lot there is a gate which allow construction trucks to an area of land between the parking lot and the station. There is no parking in front of that gate.
The problem is that the MBTA doesn't use that entrance at all. This is because there is another entrance just outside of the parking lot which offers better access to the property.
This leaves a large section of the parking lot to be empty everyday for no reason. In fact, the gates never get open in the winter because the plows create a pile in front of the gate preventing anyone from even opening up the gate.
If LAZ Parking was to allow 5 cars to park in front of the gate they could easily collect an additional $25 a day or $500 a month. They would simply have to take down the signs and put parking lines in.
Having five spaces isn't a lot, but it can certainly help people on those very busy commuting days when your face with uncertainty when the lot is full. One thing is for sure, those five spaces will make a difference for those five commuters.
Should the MBTA actually need to use the gate, they could put cones up to prevent people from parking in front of the gate. However, I have never seen the gates open in the past 3 years that I have taken the train.
Snow MBTA Train
|February 4, 2015|
Recently the Boston area was hit hard with several snow storms. Within a ten day period, the Boston area has received a record amount of snow. This has caused a lot of delays on the roads and with public transportation. The MBTA Commuter rail has seen significant delays that has results warnings from the MBTA to expect delays.
Some riders have been venting about the late trains, slow commute and over pack cars. The only people that seem to have benefit from all this are riders paying on the train or using the 10-ride ticket. This is because the train conductors have been avoiding checking tickets during the over crowded trains. (In many instances they feel overwhelmed dealing with customers.)
Under the eight-year contract started in 2014 with the MBTA, Keolis is fined at least $250 for every train that is later than five minutes, or at least $500 for late trains during peak hours. A train later than 40 minutes can cost Keolis $2,500, or $5,000 during peak hours.
Keolis is the largest private sector French transport group. It runs passenger railways, tramways, bus networks, funiculars, trolley buses, and airport services.