the potential to be spoiled – like many Chelsea commutes – by the often untimely lifting of the Chelsea Street Bridge.
The Bridge is a key pinch point on the new SL-3 route as it heads to and from Chelsea to East Boston and the Seaport. As great as the projected 30-minute ride to South Station sounds, it could easily be thwarted by the Bridge being in the “up” position.
The Chelsea Street Bridge goes up multiple times a day, and from start to finish lasts more than 20 minutes. Such delays could drastically impair the service of the Silver Line.
That was identified as early as last summer as a looming problem for operations of the SL-3 by the MBTA Board.
On Monday, in a presentation to the Board, the MBTA revealed a new software system that will help in trying to mitigate what could totally ruin the reliability of the new service.
The new software will be used by the Chelsea Street Bridge operator, who will notify the MBTA bus dispatch center when the bridge is going up.
The software will provide bus dispatch with estimated duration and projected travel time for each of two possible detours around the Bridge. The dispatch will then use that information to determine the best response for each bus.
MBTA officials said that the Bus Operations Division is in the process of developing a Standard Operating Procedure to divert the SL-3 service in response to the Bridge going up. An alternative roué has been identified and will be tested during various times of the day to project run times and reliability.