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traildriver

MBTA Silver Line

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Has anyone been on the MBTA Silver Line? I was on it a while ago and was very impressed with its unique operation. I got off a cruise ship at the Black Falcon Terminal in Boston and waited at a 'T' bus stop. A short time later a neat looking, (sorry, no photo's), articulated SL2 route bus pulls up and loads about 50 passengers. We loop around the port area making a couple more stops, and then pull into an outdoor bus station with several parallel platforms. Several routes come together here. All of a sudden, the engine 'dies', the a/c blowers stop, only the lights stay lit. A few seconds later the blowers come back on. Next thing you know, we are silently rolling again. A hybrid? Well sort of. Except this 'hybrid' is not being propelled by batteries, but rather, overhead trolley wires. While we were briefly stopped at the station, the poles went up. Next, we come to a signal and gate guarded tunnel portal. We then are rolling thru a new subway tunnel used exclusively by these Silver Line buses. We make several stops as if we were now a train. All doors open and passengers quickly get on and off. The fares are paid at turnstyles upstairs like any other subway line. And at the downtown terminal, free connections are made to other intersecting subway lines.

I was so impressed, that I went upstairs at last stop while bus went around loop to outbound platform. I went back down and rode back out. At last stop, you can just stay aboard and go around again if you wish and not have to pay another fare. Just like the subway.

I think there are currently three routes diverging at that 'transition' terminal, one of which goes to Logan Airport, offering a one seat ride from downtown, as compared to the Blue Line, which requires changing to a shuttle bus to get to airport terminals.

All in all very impressive, About the only thing I learned was that the buses were built by Neoplan. Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silver_Line_(MBTA)_1297.jpg is link with more info.

Edited by traildriver
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The Silver Line is like B.R.T., but the T places it with the subway on their website.

 

Speaking of the Blue Line - a neat operation with both third rail and overhead supply and the Bowdoin Station.

 

I think the Green Line Riverside actually uses a ROW.

 

I like the way the system is called the "T". A neat name.

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