In the words of a very popular camel, "Uh-oh. Guess what day it is?!"
(Technically, yes, it is "hump day", but that's not what I'm going for here.)
Yes, it's that time of year again - some call it "Allston Christmas", some call it the "student exodus" ... whatever your name for it, the next week or so is going to bring a flood of new arrivals to the city. If you're one of them and have come to this blog for commuting advice, welcome and thanks for stopping by! If there's one thing you need to keep in mind, please remember this:
Do not, under any circumstances (unless being chased by raptors, and even then), bring your moving truck on the river roads. And, if you do, follow the signs! There's an example in the photo above. If you see one of these, DO NOT KEEP GOING. Otherwise, you will likely end up like one of these unfortunate souls and that's just not fun for anyone involved. (Check out the gallery - I think the Weinermobile could have made it without help.)
For more tips, here's the gallery I put together for last year's move-in that provides a general overview of the ins and outs of getting around the city. If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them!
It's about time for the last vacation weekend for the summer... and that means we've got a modified schedule for public transport around the city for Labor Day!
This schedule is in effect for Monday, September 2nd:
All lines (including the Silver Line) will operate on a Sunday schedule.
No service will be offered on the Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, Lowell and Needham lines. Sunday schedules will be in effect for all other lines.
All bus routes will run on Sunday schedules, except for the following routes which will not be offering service for the day:
CT1, CT2, CT3, 4, 5, 7, 14, 18, 19, 29, 33, 37, 38, 51, 52, 62, 65, 67, 68, 70A, 74, 76, 77A, 79, 84, 85, 92, 114, 121, 131, 132, 170, 210, 212, 217, 221, 245, 325, 326, 351, 352, 354, 411, 424, 424W, 428, 430, 434, 436, 439, 448, 449, 451, 456, 459, 465, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 553, 554, 556, 558.
No service will be offered on the F1 - Hingham line. Quincy service on the F2 and F2H lines will operate on a Sunday schedule with no stops to Hull. All Charlestown service on the F4 line will run on a weekend schedule.
All RIDE service will operate on a weekend schedule.
Pam wrote in recently about the North Leominster parking garage saga:
"I swung by the garage to see what was what in late June and it looked like they could possibly be done by [sometime in] August (the date the MRTA said it would be completed).
Lo and behold, I went by yesterday and it looked like nothing had been touched in a month! From outside appearances, there seemed to have been no progress whatsoever... which leaves me with no other option than to hike up to Fitchburg which takes longer or over to Shirley which leaves me with no guaranteed parking, since the shuttle isn't available.
Might you have any further insight on this project? You seem to be the only one piecing this thing together and it's been very frustrating to get some facts."
MART's Deputy Administrator, Bruno Fisher, concisely explained to me that there's been some issues with the construction which has caused yet another delay. Fisher says contractors had to put off the pouring and placement of the "concrete decks" due to "extreme temperatures" over the summer. Putting off the pouring has then delayed everything else.
I'm not a contractor, but I did do some cursory Googling on how heat can affect the pouring of concrete, and apparently it can cause some significant problems. Who'd have thought? Anyway, Fisher says the new date for completion is reportedly October 14th. If you're out in the Leominster area and can get a few snapshots of the garage's current state, I would love to see how it's coming along. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It looks like commuter rail riders are really starting to embrace the new mTicket system. The system-wide app has yet to reach its first birthday (it was released in late November of last year), and it's already generated $10 million in sales according to a recent release by the MBTA. Not too shabby - that makes up about 15 percent of all "non-corporate" commuter rail ticket sales.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott says putting the app in place has helped to cut costs pretty significantly for the T in the form of removing vending machines, slashing ticket production and helping to cut down on cash transactions. The T's release mentions that the program is the "first full smartphone commuter rail ticketing system" in the United States to allow riders to purchase and display tickets on their Android and iPhones. You can find it in the App Store and on the Google Play store if you type in "MBTA mTicket".
You'll find slowdowns here...
Expressway / O'Neill Tunnel northbound
The ramp from the Sumner Tunnel to Storrow Drive will close Wednesday through Saturday nights between 11:30 PM and 5:00 AM.
The Leverett Connector outbound will be closed Wednesday and Thursday nights from 11:30 PM to 5:00 AM.
The off-ramps from the Expressway northbound and Frontage Road northbound to the Mass Pike will close Wednesday and Thursday nights from 11:50 PM to 5:00 AM.
Mass Pike westbound
Route 1A southbound to the Ted Williams Tunnel westbound will be closed Wednesday and Thursday nights from 11:50 PM to 5:00 AM. All traffic will be diverted through Logan Airport.
The on-ramp from South Boston / Seaport District to the Pike westbound will close Wednesday night from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
The off-ramp from the Pike westbound connector tunnel (HOV ramp to South Station) will clsoe Wednesday from 11:50 PM to 5:00 AM.
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