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Union Tpke

ROCKAWAY BEACH BRANCH STUDY IS OUT

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1 hour ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Except the first and the last, those are all good locations for new stations. Yellowstone is even closer to Metro than Union Turnpike and it has no connecting regular local bus service, so you really don’t need a station there. I prefer a stop at Liberty Avenue over 101st/103rd, because you can then connect to the Lefferts (A) branch, which would make it convenient for all (A) riders coming from the west to travel north on the RBB (which I’ll refer to as the (W), as that’s my preference for the train that should run there). 

Might I also suggest adding an infill (A)(W) station at Linden Blvd/Centerville St and closing the northbound-only Aqueduct Racetrack station? This would not only facilitate opposite-direction transfers between the (A) and (W), but it would be a way more convenient place for potential riders in the Cross Bay Blvd corridor to board the train - unlike the current Aqueduct station, which is located entirely on racetrack grounds and doesn’t allow for easy bus transfers.

The revised list was done due to feedback concerning closely spaced stops and redundant connection issues. IN addition, I forgot to mention that one of my local bus plans for the RBB line was to extend the Q64 Jewel Avenue Bus via Austin Street and Yellowstone Blvd to Glendale at the Atlas Park Mall, providing local bus service along Yellowstone Blvd. This is why I decided to add a stop there, but a Q64 extension would have to be evaluated. However, because of additional feedback from you, I am further revising the stop list a bit. The Yellowstone stop would be eliminated and instead of stops at 101st Avenue and at Liberty Avenue, there would be a single station between Liberty and 103rd Avenue, and it would be called Liberty-103rd Avenues. The Q8 bus could then be rerouted to serve the station's 103rd Avenue entrance, but this would force the bus to deal with a somewhat narrow street. This would also be evaluated.

New Stops (from south to north):

  • Liberty-103rd Avenues
  • Atlantic Avenue
  • Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenues
  • Myrtle Avenue
  • Metropolitan Avenue-Union Turnpike

From Metropolitan Avenue-Union Turnpike, the trains would then enter the QBL, stop at 63rd Drive-Rego Park, and continue onward from there.

Speaking of actual train service, I do have other plans for the service to serve the RBB, but I'll discuss this at another time.

Finally, for the last part, an infill station at Linden Blvd/Centerville, it sounds like a good idea, since its near residential homes and would allow for the residents to have a closer alternaitve to the subway than walking to Cross Bay Blvd and taking the Q7/11/21/41 from there. I will look into this and possibly incorporate this into my own plans as well.

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10 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

The 34th St merge is ridiculous and not needed, but the (MTA) just HAS to have the (N) stop at 49th St...

And let's not forget the 2010-2016 era where the (N) was the Broadway Local, the merges were so bad that you would have been better off taking the (N) or (Q) and still get to the same place within that timeframe.

It amazes me how we still haven't deinterlined Broadway at 34th- it's a complete killer in terms of capacity and is unneeded as Broadway express does not benefit Astoria since most people are off by 34th anyways...

To get back on topic to the study, would it be possible to make the line part of some RX-like system and have it via the LIRR ROW from the Bay Ridge Branch to the Rockaway junction?

Edited by R68OnBroadway
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10 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Yes, Wallyhorse, I do remember you posting about running the (W) on the RBB, but coupled with a whole host of changes to train service in South Brooklyn. At that time, I wasn’t sold on it and I felt an extended (M) or (R) would be much simpler. Since then, I’ve soured on extending the (M) or (R). This is due to all the discussion we’ve all had on delays and less-frequent service due to the many merges and reverse-branching present throughout the system, especially in the B-Division. And both the (M) and (R) have many merges, especially the (M). Meanwhile, the (R) is a very long local route that’s failing miserably at having to do triple-duty as the local on QB, Broadway and 4th Ave. Extending it to the Rockaways would only make it worse.

I’ve become such a fan of getting rid of the (N) express/local merge at 34th St, because I see it as a prime example of why we can’t run trains as fast or frequently during rush hours as we should be. But then, the (N) can no longer go to Astoria and something has to run in its place. That’s why recently I’ve been in favor of sending the (R) back to Astoria and running the (W) to Rockaway via QB local. Though I really would prefer to have it not continue past Whitehall, otherwise it will be almost as long as an extended (R) would be.

The host of other changes in South Brooklyn were at the time I felt necessary because of the (MTA)'s obsession with having a yard on at least one end, however, turning the current (R) into a slight variation of the old (RJ) from 95th Street-Essex with scheduled, in-service yard runs to and from Broadway Junction and such on the schedules takes care of that issue.  I'd use that as an incentive to at least lengthen the Manhattan stations on the Nassau line (plus at least at first Marcy Avenue, Myrtle Avenue and Broadway Junction) to 600' as part of a longer-term plan to eventually lengthen all such stations on the line to such.

Given the situation with the (N), what I also can see happening is this:

(N) becomes the sole Broadway Express line and replaces the (Q) to 96th Street.

(Q) becomes a Broadway Local and runs Coney Island-Astoria at all times.

(W) becomes the other Broadway local and runs Whitehall Street-Rockaway Park at all times with overflow trains beginning and ending at 9th Avenue on the (D).

 

1 hour ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Might I also suggest adding an infill (A)(W) station at Linden Blvd/Centerville St and closing the northbound-only Aqueduct Racetrack station? This would not only facilitate opposite-direction transfers between the (A) and (W), but it would be a way more convenient place for potential riders in the Cross Bay Blvd corridor to board the train - unlike the current Aqueduct station, which is located entirely on racetrack grounds and doesn’t allow for easy bus transfers.

If anything, I would add an additional platform to the Racetrack station that would allow it to be used as a short-turn terminal as needed.  I would be making a point of having this station available as much as possible as I'm sure a lot of casino patrons use it/  

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3 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

The revised list was done due to feedback concerning closely spaced stops and redundant connection issues. IN addition, I forgot to mention that one of my local bus plans for the RBB line was to extend the Q64 Jewel Avenue Bus via Austin Street and Yellowstone Blvd to Glendale at the Atlas Park Mall, providing local bus service along Yellowstone Blvd. This is why I decided to add a stop there, but a Q64 extension would have to be evaluated. However, because of additional feedback from you, I am further revising the stop list a bit. The Yellowstone stop would be eliminated and instead of stops at 101st Avenue and at Liberty Avenue, there would be a single station between Liberty and 103rd Avenue, and it would be called Liberty-103rd Avenues. The Q8 bus could then be rerouted to serve the station's 103rd Avenue entrance, but this would force the bus to deal with a somewhat narrow street. This would also be evaluated.

New Stops (from south to north):

  • Liberty-103rd Avenues
  • Atlantic Avenue
  • Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenues
  • Myrtle Avenue
  • Metropolitan Avenue-Union Turnpike

From Metropolitan Avenue-Union Turnpike, the trains would then enter the QBL, stop at 63rd Drive-Rego Park, and continue onward from there.

Speaking of actual train service, I do have other plans for the service to serve the RBB, but I'll discuss this at another time.

Finally, for the last part, an infill station at Linden Blvd/Centerville, it sounds like a good idea, since its near residential homes and would allow for the residents to have a closer alternaitve to the subway than walking to Cross Bay Blvd and taking the Q7/11/21/41 from there. I will look into this and possibly incorporate this into my own plans as well.

If you extend the Q64, it should be down Queens Blvd to Yellowstone, not Austin St. Austin is a very slow street, choked by traffic at all hours of the day. The Q23 always gets bogged down there. But even with an extended Q64 down Yellowstone, a (W) station there would be very close to Metro, sort of like Beverley and Cortelyou Rd stations on the (Q)

A station at Liberty Ave with a north exit at 103rd Ave could work, if 103rd is 600’ or less away from Liberty.
 

3 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

If anything, I would add an additional platform to the Racetrack station that would allow it to be used as a short-turn terminal as needed.  I would be making a point of having this station available as much as possible as I'm sure a lot of casino patrons use it/  

Maybe locate the new station between Linden and Pitkin Avenue. It needs to be a station that can better serve the neighborhood. A new pedestrian footbridge can be built from the Pitkin side of the station over the giant parking lot in the area. You don’t want two separate stations just a couple hundred feet away, like Beverley and Cortelyou on the (Q).

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Oh jeez...the Queensway crowd 😡. Yeah, they probably threw a big celebration once they saw the price of restoring rail service on the branch.

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7 hours ago, BreeddekalbL said:

The Queensway crowd already thinks this study tilts the scale towards them 🙄

No no no, they are not making a high line out of this. We have to show MTA that rail service is the best option.

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3 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Oh jeez...the Queensway crowd 😡. Yeah, they probably threw a big celebration once they saw the price of restoring rail service on the branch.

I'm sure many of them don't want rail because to them it means people "not their kind" going through some areas (many of these types likely were victims of crime in the subways in the 1960's, '70's and '80s by certain types who were "not their kind" (and in the case of those younger their parents being such).  That to me has always been the issue. 

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17 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

It amazes me how we still haven't deinterlined Broadway at 34th- it's a complete killer in terms of capacity and is unneeded as Broadway express does not benefit Astoria since most people are off by 34th anyways...

To get back on topic to the study, would it be possible to make the line part of some RX-like system and have it via the LIRR ROW from the Bay Ridge Branch to the Rockaway junction?

That sounds extremely circuitous, and not particularly useful for actual commuters.

The RBB reactivation has always been a solution in search of a problem.

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8 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

That sounds extremely circuitous, and not particularly useful for actual commuters.

The RBB reactivation has always been a solution in search of a problem.

I somewhat agree with you on the second point, but still feel as though it could help people. Maybe end it at Roosevelt U.L.

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2 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

I somewhat agree with you on the second point, but still feel as though it could help people. Maybe end it at Roosevelt U.L.

Coming to think of it, I wonder why they didn’t consider that option.

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13 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Coming to think of it, I wonder why they didn’t consider that option.

It isn't as attractive as a 1-seat ride or connection to the subway. Note that funding for the study was provided by the LIRR, which is the preferred option. The issue is connecting the LIRR ROW in Rego Park to the Upper Level.

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The point of reactivating the RBB for RX usage would be not as a faster way to Manhattan (just kill skip stop on the (J) for that) but to better link western Queens with the southern end of Queens.

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3 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Coming to think of it, I wonder why they didn’t consider that option.

The entire point of hooking it up to the (A) was to save money. 

3 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

The point of reactivating the RBB for RX usage would be not as a faster way to Manhattan (just kill skip stop on the (J) for that) but to better link western Queens with the southern end of Queens.

  1. How many people are actually doing this?
  2. Point or not, linking to QBL would just shove people onto E and F trains that have no room. The E and F are still the fastest way to get to Western Queens.
Edited by bobtehpanda

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1 hour ago, bobtehpanda said:

The entire point of hooking it up to the (A) was to save money. 

  1. How many people are actually doing this?
  2. Point or not, linking to QBL would just shove people onto E and F trains that have no room. The E and F are still the fastest way to get to Western Queens.

JFK is a rather major jobs center in the area and I would argue that it would be useful to have a rail connection between it and a large chunk of Queens (it would take a large load off the buses heading there).

As for the issue of QBL being overloaded, you could maybe try and extend the line to LIC on the LIRR if you wanted to kill that issue...

Edited by R68OnBroadway

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13 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

As for the issue of QBL being overloaded, you could maybe try and extend the line to LIC on the LIRR if you wanted to kill that issue...

I’m pretty sure that LIRR trains scheduled to use RBB are heading straight to Penn Station and GCT, but I agree with this alternative as well.

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18 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

JFK is a rather major jobs center in the area and I would argue that it would be useful to have a rail connection between it and a large chunk of Queens (it would take a large load off the buses heading there).

As for the issue of QBL being overloaded, you could maybe try and extend the line to LIC on the LIRR if you wanted to kill that issue...

The LIRR Main Line is also full. It will be even more full when East Side Access opens.

There is literally no room for more people anywhere going east to west in Queens on or alongside Queens Blvd. If you'd read the study you'd see that.

An extension down RBB would also give you a one seat ride to an AirTrain stop, which these people already have at Jamaica. Extending the rail into JFK itself is a nonstarter because the JFK terminal layout prevents all the passenger terminals from being served well, let alone the cargo terminals and whatnot where most people are actually working.

Also, this is a current map of where JFK and LGA employees live. You'll notice that the working class employees at JFK don't live in super expensive, gentrifying LIC.

f6BzKgf.png

Edited by bobtehpanda

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5 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

It isn't as attractive as a 1-seat ride or connection to the subway. Note that funding for the study was provided by the LIRR, which is the preferred option. The issue is connecting the LIRR ROW in Rego Park to the Upper Level.

 

5 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

The point of reactivating the RBB for RX usage would be not as a faster way to Manhattan (just kill skip stop on the (J) for that) but to better link western Queens with the southern end of Queens.

The common consensus seems to be that it should be both a 1-seat ride to Manhattan and a link between North and South Queens. Just like there are many posters and subway expansion advocates who want the (T) to function as both a 2nd Ave service and a crosstown service on 125th Street. 

2 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

The entire point of hooking it up to the (A) was to save money. 

  1. How many people are actually doing this?
  2. Point or not, linking to QBL would just shove people onto E and F trains that have no room. The E and F are still the fastest way to get to Western Queens.

Maybe an RBB service via the Lower Montauk (a branch off the proposed QNS service) from Woodhaven Junction to Long Island City would be faster to Western Queens. But then, it wouldn’t connect to other subway lines until LIC and everyone going to Manhattan would have to shove onto the connecting subways there.

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8 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

I’m pretty sure that LIRR trains scheduled to use RBB are heading straight to Penn Station and GCT, but I agree with this alternative as well.

There's no room for them. From the study, edited down and emphasised for clarity:

Quote

PSNY to Woodside Station is approximately five miles and the run time on that segment is an additional 10 minutes. When combined, the run time from Howard Beach to Woodside is approximately 25 minutes in total.

The ROW segment between Woodside Station and PSNY is the most congested four track ROW (Lines 1 – 4) on the LIRR system as far west and inclusive of Harold Interlocking. From Harold to PSNY, the tracks are owned by Amtrak, operated jointly, and are at/near capacity. Today there are variably 37 to 38 LIRR trains in the peak direction in the peak hour and 20 to 22 trains per hour (TPH) in the reverse peak direction. With a 3 – 1 running track scenario, Main Line headways are scant and track space in PSNY is fully subscribed.

The confluence of trains completely consumes available capacity. At Harold Interlocking, where RBB trains would be sorted between PSNY and Grand Central, capacity is constrained by sections of track where LIRR and Amtrak trains meet. Also, the LIRR Port Washington Branch trains come into the mix. East River Tunnel capacity is further constrained by non-revenue NJ TRANSIT trains moving to and from Sunnyside Yard. Additionally, a future Metro-North service to PSNY via the Hell Gate has been proposed. These shared sections of track have a capacity of 20 trains per hour. This can be easily reached during peak hours ... The LIRR Service Planning staff explained that if RBB train service were to operate, there would need to be an existing tradeoff with existing service.

In order to provide slots for the RBB service, the SYSTRA team made certain assumptions (listed below) and took trains off short headway branches in order to minimize system-wide impacts. Based upon the current assessment, during the peak hours of commutation, in the peak direction, four trains currently carrying commuters would be eliminated to accommodate LIRR RBB service. Additionally, at least two commuter trains would need to be eliminated for the reverse (nonpeak direction) during the same period. This could mean the displacement of as many as 7,500 current LIRR passengers.

As part of this assessment, it was assumed that displacement of current trains would come from the Hempstead, Huntington, Ronkonkoma and Babylon branches, with each branch losing one train during each of the peak hours weekdays in the peak direction. In order to incorporate future LIRR RBB service, the resulting LIRR branches will experience the following effects:

  • Ronkonkoma Branch would have the number of Manhattan bound trains reduced from 25 to 21, or 10 minute headways to 11 minute headways.
  • Port Jefferson/Huntington Branch would have the number of Manhattan bound trains reduced from 17 to 13, or 14 minute headways to 18 minute headways.
  • Hempstead Branch would have the number of Manhattan bound trains reduced from 10 to 8, or 24 minute headways to 30 minute headways.
  • Babylon Branch would have the number of Manhattan bound trains reduced from 36 to 30, or 7 minute headways to 8 minute headways.
  • For eastbound reverse peak trains, Huntington Branch was reduced from 5 to 4 peak period trips from Manhattan and Ronkonkoma was reduced from 8 to 7 peak period trips from Manhattan.

This is, quite frankly, a completely unacceptable nonstarter.

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I’m somewhat of two minds on RBB, but I do think it’s worth emphasizing that the (E)(F) capacity issue is wholly a function of service design. Expresses run full, locals do not — if you can rearrange services in such a way that incentivized use of local capacity, you’re playing a whole new ball game. I suggest do the 8-53-local/6-63-express scheme. 

Does this do away with all of the RBB’s issues? No. Does it make capacity manageable? Yes. 

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What about building a new elevated subway to 74th St while also building a connection at Rego Park at Rockaway Blvd to the rest of the B Divison so it's not isolated?

This way you don't deal with the capacity issues along QBL. Just a thought.

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14 hours ago, RR503 said:

I’m somewhat of two minds on RBB, but I do think it’s worth emphasizing that the (E)(F) capacity issue is wholly a function of service design. Expresses run full, locals do not — if you can rearrange services in such a way that incentivized use of local capacity, you’re playing a whole new ball game. I suggest do the 8-53-local/6-63-express scheme. 

Does this do away with all of the RBB’s issues? No. Does it make capacity manageable? Yes. 

With anecdotally observed SRO loads at Kew Gardens on both (E) and (F) , I don't know that this is manageable. As a former daily rider, I fully expect even a deinterlined QBL to be fully subscribed; it's not as if (F) trains have room because they go via 63rd.

Queens is now the second most populous borough, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the first sometime soon, and much of that growth has been happening east of the Van Wyck. (Zoning may not reflect that, but anecdotally there are a lot of illegally subdivided houses in Eastern and SE Queens.

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On 10/11/2019 at 10:50 AM, Wallyhorse said:

I'm sure many of them don't want rail because to them it means people "not their kind" going through some areas (many of these types likely were victims of crime in the subways in the 1960's, '70's and '80s by certain types who were "not their kind" (and in the case of those younger their parents being such).  That to me has always been the issue. 

Reminds me of the whole elevator debacle at 68th Street (6) where residents of that neighborhood don’t want elevators on 69th street because it would “change the character” of that street. Ridiculousness.

 

On 10/11/2019 at 12:05 AM, BreeddekalbL said:

The Queensway crowd already thinks this study tilts the scale towards them 🙄

The Queensway just flat out wouldn’t work, in my opinion. The High Line relies on the heavy foot traffic around the areas it runs through, in addition to being accessible by multiple heavily-trafficked arteries (34th, 23rd, 14th).  The Queensway would run through a somewhat isolated portion in Queens, and even though it bisects some prime corridors, it would pale in comparison to that of Midtown Manhattan. 

Train service to the RBB should be restored, although that price tag really needs to be re-examined. Compared to other large scale projects, it should be much less expensive than the SAS and East Side Access.

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4 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

With anecdotally observed SRO loads at Kew Gardens on both (E) and (F) , I don't know that this is manageable. As a former daily rider, I fully expect even a deinterlined QBL to be fully subscribed; it's not as if (F) trains have room because they go via 63rd.

Queens is now the second most populous borough, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the first sometime soon, and much of that growth has been happening east of the Van Wyck. (Zoning may not reflect that, but anecdotally there are a lot of illegally subdivided houses in Eastern and SE Queens.

Sure, because you're cramming all 6th Avenue-bound demand east of Roosevelt onto 15tph of capacity -- no one rides through on the (M). Deinterlining would let you (at least) double the effective capacity to 6th, which should yield significant relief. Again, the local tracks run at, what, 70% guideline capacity and, at most, 67% track capacity? If you make access to the premiere market (53 St) conditional on riders' use of local trains, you've got a whole new ball game. 

At any rate, there are a zillion other things you can do to relieve stress on QB -- making the (J) a functional route out of Richmond Hill/Woodhaven would be a great place to start.

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2 hours ago, Cabanamaner said:

Reminds me of the whole elevator debacle at 68th Street (6) where residents of that neighborhood don’t want elevators on 69th street because it would “change the character” of that street. Ridiculousness.

 

The Queensway just flat out wouldn’t work, in my opinion. The High Line relies on the heavy foot traffic around the areas it runs through, in addition to being accessible by multiple heavily-trafficked arteries (34th, 23rd, 14th).  The Queensway would run through a somewhat isolated portion in Queens, and even though it bisects some prime corridors, it would pale in comparison to that of Midtown Manhattan. 

Train service to the RBB should be restored, although that price tag really needs to be re-examined. Compared to other large scale projects, it should be much less expensive than the SAS and East Side Access.

It is shameful how much we give in to NIMBY’s in this city. In Chicago, the CTA are building a new flyover for northbound Brown Line trains at the Belmont station (Clark Junction), so that Purple and Red Line trains don’t have to wait while a Brown train crosses the entirety of the current flat junction. But they had to take property to do so...and they did. They told NIMBY’s to go pound sand. Be nice if we could do that...especially when it comes to making a station like 68th St ADA-compliant or getting rid of a co-op’s parking lot in Queens that never should have been built on a dormant right-of-way in the first place.

The Daily News editorial staff share yours and my sentiments exactly. It is shameful that they are quoting such insanely high costs to restore RBB - higher than SAS Phase 2 (and that’s an insanely high cost given all the existing tunnel built in the 70s). See here...

https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-rockaway-20191012-76d6jrzt4vg5je7wymb6y2ydb4-story.html?fbclid=IwAR3yh5d-bhOL1kxOtuGwp7gpvyqqdzlL4whd0kvib2RcAAt8F2OhICuk-E4

20 hours ago, RR503 said:

I’m somewhat of two minds on RBB, but I do think it’s worth emphasizing that the (E)(F) capacity issue is wholly a function of service design. Expresses run full, locals do not — if you can rearrange services in such a way that incentivized use of local capacity, you’re playing a whole new ball game. I suggest do the 8-53-local/6-63-express scheme. 

Does this do away with all of the RBB’s issues? No. Does it make capacity manageable? Yes. 

It would make the (E) and (K) services in an 8-53-local/6-63-express scheme distinctive, because then one of them can be branched onto the RBB. Though I still have concerns about sending the (M) with its 8-car trains either Parsons/Archer or 179.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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