T notes: Baker confusion on Silver Line ramp access
Update should improve subway arrival prediction times
THE PUSH FOR SILVER LINE ACCESS to a Seaport District ramp into the Ted Williams Tunnel took an odd turn this week when Gov. Charlie Baker was asked about the situation and appeared to have his facts wrong.
The ramp in question is located in the Seaport District off the Massport haul road next to the State Police complex and runs directly into the Ted Williams Tunnel. State Police have barred Silver Line buses from using the ramp, which means they have to take a circuitous route back toward South Station before gaining access to the tunnel en route to the airport and, starting this weekend, Chelsea.
The ramp issue has become something of a cause among transit advocates, who say operating times could be reduced significantly if buses could gain access to the Ted Williams Tunnel using the ramp. A Boston Globe editorial on Saturday pushed for access to the ramp, among other measures.
During a wide-ranging interview (at 28:30) Thursday on Boston Public Radio that at one point focused on State Police issues, host Margery Eagan asked Baker an imprecise question about Silver Line access to the ramp. “The Silver Line that used to be for the buses in the Ted Tunnel that I believe Troop E has taken that over for security reasons,” she said.
Brendan Moss, a spokesman for the governor, issued a statement addressing the broader question of Silver Line access to the ramp. “Gov. Baker looks forward to beginning the first new MBTA service since 2007 with the Silver Line 3 to connect the Chelsea and Boston communities beginning this weekend,” he said. “He is also aware that MassDOT and the T are currently establishing criteria for an analysis of the existing operational and safety challenges associated with the potential use of the ramp to the Ted Williams Tunnel, which will help determine whether it can be used safely by 60-foot Silver Line buses.”
Subway arrival prediction times improved
The MBTA said technology upgrades have improved subway arrival prediction times on the T’s website and smartphone apps and should be rolled out later this year to in-station signage and delay messages.T officials said the new approach will refresh arrival time information for subways every six seconds instead of every 15 to 45 seconds and also tap data that will allow for better predictions.
The new information is currently available at MBTA.com and the Transit app. Officials said it will be rolled out to in-station signage and delay messages later this year. They also promised more information in the next few months on when trains will leave at terminus stations on the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines.