MBTA blog postings

MBTA Postings

Earliest: May 17, 2005Latest: November 19, 2017Total: 68

February 5, 2015

Additional MBTA Parking spaces

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.

February 4, 2015

Snow MBTA Train

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.

November 25, 2014

New MBTA Parking Lot Exit

During the past couple of weeks the MBTA and Town of Framingham have been busy with a nice upgrade to the Framingham MBTA Commuter lot located at the end of Franklin Street. The construction crew have been building a new parking lot exit which will allow commuters the ability to leave the lot on the corner of Park and Pearl Street. This exit will alleviate some of the downtown traffic congestion as commuters will no longer have to use the one way exit directing all traffic to Concord Street.

Seasonal commuters know about going around the one way street by cutting through the TD BankNorth parking lot. However, this isn't always reliable option since the cut through requires going behind the Inn near the train station. The "hack way" can be very icy in the winter time.

The MBTA hasn't announced the date on when the new parking lot exit will be open.

July 2, 2014

Heat-induced Speed Restrictions

Yesterday the MBTA posted that the trains would be slow:

Commuter rail trains on the Framingham-Worcester line have been ordered to slow down a bit because of the hot weather, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company announced.
Heat-induced speed restrictions are expected to cause delays of 10 to 15 minutes between 1 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, MBCR officials said in an text advisory to customers.

This slowness caused my commute time from Back Bay to Framingham to be 80 minutes long. Normally it takes only 45 minutes, via express train, to travel the same distance. If you look at the Service Alert graphic you'll see that Framingham/Worcester line is the only one that has any Heat-induced speed restrictions.

No comment from the MBTA on why the Heat-induced speed restrictions only applies to the Worcester/Framingham line.

April 10, 2014

Parking Lot Availability

Just a quick update on the limited availability of parking spaces at the Framingham MBTA parking lot. In short, there isn't much parking spaces for commuters that take the commuter rail after 8am.

This morning, I noticed there was only one available parking space in the public commuter rail parking lot. This public parking lot is available for both monthly and daily commuters. This basically means that if your taking the 8:18 (P512) train out of Framingham, your fresh out of luck finding a space at the commuter rail parking lot.

If you are planning on taking the Commuter Rail out of Framingham on a regular bases, you should considered some of the alternative parking areas near the commuter rail. You are not guaranteed a parking spot if you sign up for the Monthly parking program. There is a two hour parking limit around many streets in downtown, this applies to meter and non-meter parking.

If you find a broken or missing meter you will get a ticket or your car could get towed if you park for more than 2 hours. Warning: The town is looking for additional reveue, and they will give you a ticket! There are 12 broken meter spots around the train station, and they are happy to write up tickets every day!

Here are some alternative parking areas around downtown. You will need to contact the owners before you park in the lots:

March 10, 2014

MBTA 2014 Schedule

This morning launched the new MBTA schedule on the Framingham/Worcester line. The new schedule lineup with a little off since most of the inbound commuter lines had delays.

If you take the commuter rail out of Framingham or Back Bay, you should check out the updated timeline chart that I created:

The charts have been a big hit on Twitter and Google+. Next month I'll update the timeline so that you get a full days view in one handy chart.

Thanks for everyone for providing some feedback on the graphic!

February 26, 2014

Avoid Slipping at the Framingham MBTA Station

If you happen to park at the Framingham MBTA station, you'll notice that it's bit of a challenge walking to your car on the outbound track. This is because the Old Station Steakhouse on Waverly Street is between ownerships and they don't take care of walk way near the tracks. As a results ice builds up and it gets very slippery walking behind the Old Station Steakhouse.

The simple solution is to take the inbound track. The MBTA manages that walkway all the way to the start of the parking lot. Simply take the pedestrian walkover bridge to the other side of the tracks. (The MBTA puts lots of salt on the stairs so they are very rarely slippery.) They also do a great job of clearing a large path during a snow storm.

In the past week, I noticed that many people are now taking this route. I am guessing that they feel fustrated having to carefully walk on the ice just to get to their cars.

If you want to avoid slipping and falling, use the inbound track. The inbound track is opposite side of the Old Station Steakhouse and is the track closest to the Franklin Stree parking lot.

January 21, 2014

MBTA Schedule Change Delayed

Update on the MBTA schedule changes:

Upcoming Schedule (Jan 2014) Status:
Due to ongoing work at the new Yawkey Station, the enhanced schedule will not be implemented in January 2014. The new schedule cannot go into effect until the station platforms can fully accommodate both inbound and outbound trains simultaneously. In addition, the MBTA is taking under consideration some schedule changes suggested by customers and local officials. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the delayed implementation of the new schedule. The MBTA looks forward to bringing improved service to the customers of the Framingham/Worcester Line as soon as possible.

January 10, 2014

MBTA Schedule Change Chart


Click to view handy chart.

I created a handy chart to visual see the changes to the MBTA schedule for Framingham riders. If you take the commuter rail during peak hours, check out the chart to see the new train times

The chart shows the departure times trains leave the Framingham MBTA station. The left side of the chart shows the timeline of the current MBTA schedule, and the right side show the changes. I included the train number since the MBTA uses the train number to indicate any problems with the train. Be advise, that some of the train numbers have changed in the updated 2014 schedule. Be informed and know what train number you take in the new schedule!

Tomorrow, I'll have a similar chart to show the new departure times for trains leaving the Bay Bay station.

In February, I'll updated the chart and remove the 2013 trains, making it slightly easy to read and hand to keep at home. If you're a graphic artist and have some ideas on how I can make the chart better, I am open to ideas! Also if you know a better way to explain how to read the chart I am open to better instructions.

January 8, 2014

MBTA Train Time changes

The MBTA will be changing the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail schedule by January 27th, originally this was supposed to happen on January 13th.

Download the schedule that they temporarily released.

This is the biggest change to the train schedule since April 29th, when the MBTA added two express trains. The express trains made only two stops to and from Boston - Worcester and Framingham. It appears that the new schedule also reflects the completion of the Yawkey station which caused track 5 to be closed since April 2012.

According to a sneak peak at the new schedule, it looks like the MBTA has removed the express trains they added back in April from the schedule.

Note: Regular commuter shouldn't be too surprise at this change, since the beginning of 2014 the MBTA has had problems with P583 (The outbound express train from Boston) and has sent text alerts canceling the train due to "shortage of equipment."

Other notable changes:

  • There is a new outbound express train (P583) that replaces the Framingham/Worcester express and now stops at Yawkey and then Ashland, Southborough, Westborough, Grafton then Worcester. (This is the only peak hour train to skip Framingham.)
  • As noted above, there is no longer a 7am express train from Framingham to Back Bay/South Station.
  • My regular train, P512 now leaves Framingham 4 minutes later. (This is what it was prior to the adjustment made for the construction of the Yawkey station.)
  • All morning trains from Framingham have new arrival times. Make sure to check the schedule when it comes out.

Disclaimer: The MBTA has removed the new schedule from website, so additional changes may still be made. They have also made announcements on the PA system at the Back Bay station that the new schedule won't take affect until the 27th.