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Long-term plans for the Mattapan Line include old trolleys - just not as old as the ones running now

The Dorchester Reporter updates us on the T's latest thinking on what to do about the Mattapan Line - which will start with renovating stations, bridges and tracks over the next five to ten years, at a cost of up to $115 million, followed by replacement by the current 1940s-era PCC trolleys with some of the bigger trolleys now in use on the Green Line.

Free tagging: 


Would it make sense to pull up the tracks and run buses, Silver Line style?

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They talked about this already and the answer is no. Community outcry made it so.

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The T is supposed to be a SERVICE for all of the T Region -- and it is supported by All MA Taxpayers

I'm sorry -- but spending Any Money on the Manhattan "High Speed Trolley Line" beyond what is required by the ADA compliance is a WASTE of money that the T doesn't have

Compare the potential benefits of the Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line [MHSTL] to the GLX -- actually there is almost no comparison

Replace the MHSTL with Silver Line with better service than the MHSTL ever had at a much reduced cost

Remember the T was once an agglomeration of various lines evolving over more than a century -- rejiggered in the 1960's when the T was officially launched

Well its been 60 years of the T circa 1960 with a few exceptions -- a lot of things have changed profoundly-- Time for some rethinking!

Take the 100's of M$ which would be squandered on upgrading the MHSTL -- serving a few hundreds of riders and use it to make major impacts at minimal costs:

  1. Dig under D Street to let the Silver Line from South Station run unimpeded to Silver Line Way --- which should become a major Air Right Development
  2. Connect Downtown Crossing to State by Pedestrian Tunnel enabling a single point of access to all 4 Subway Lines
  3. Provide a moving sidewalk like connection at Wonderland between the Blue Line and The CR
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^^^just says I hate black people they don't deserve any trains in a lot of words.

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Imagine if someone actually read the post and replied in an intelligent way to the points which some one spent some time organizing and presenting

UHub could then actually provide some benefits to its readers and possibly to the Greater Boston community

Let's look at Mattapan HSTL in more detail:

In its favor:

  1. It's been there for a while and has a local constituency
  2. Its scenic [as someone has pointed out in this thread]
  3. It terminates at one of the most underutilized Red Line stations so there is a potential for growth

on the other side:

  1. Its isolated from all the rest of the trolley fleet necessitating special arrangements for service or supplementation in case of loss, or damage to some of the equipment
  2. its Right-of-Way was made for trolleys and as pointed out by some posts would require significant construction to support Red Line equipment
  3. its not even clear that there will not be significant equipment issues with newer trolley technology -- and once again the isolation issue from trolley equipment maintenance facilities
  4. As opposed to the GLX capture area there has not been any significant growth in the population served by the Mattapan HSTL

These are real issues and if money is to be spent on capital infrastructure -- this just may not be the best place to put the money

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$115 million is peanuts compared to other projects in Greater Boston. $115m is roughly one/fifth of one GLX mile (The GLX costs 500-600 million per mile) The Mattapan Line is packed every day (maybe you should take a ride and see for yourself). The GLX ridership projections are so tepid the extension will require a $23 million operating subsidy every year.

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The question was would it make sense, the answer is yes.

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Trams > Buses

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This was studied and found to be more expensive with a lower quality of service. Same issues as the Silver Li(n)e Seaport Tunnel. Slower speeds in a constricted Right of Way which can't be adequately widened.

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Pollack is like a reverse-robin hood. Take from the poor. Give to the rich.

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So Dorchester residents will never be able escape traffic,, A bus on the Greenway, through the Cematery, only cool places like N.O. and S. F. get charm, authenticity, but we get an articulated bus, hell no.

fley, charm,

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Is this any different that what they already said in January?

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For cities and transit agencies looking to combine the nostalgic charms of yesteryear's streetcars with the advantages of modern technology, BROOKVILLE offers brand new replica streetcar and trolley solutions. Featuring modern propulsion systems, trucks, electrical systems, HVAC systems and ADA-compliant wheelchair accessibility, BROOKVILLE is committed to building vehicles that integrate into your city's scenic infrastructure. -- www.brookvillecorp.com/streetcar-replica.asp

The T could resolve a lot of the concerns with the ADA compliant historic replica cars made in Pennsylvania. Did I read correctly that only four trolleys are needed at any given time to operate the Mattapan line? I believe there are ten (six spares) in the entire fleet. The way the T squanders money, purchasing ten of these would be short money for the problems solved.

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Has there been any studies to extend the Red Line from Ashont to Mattapan, replacing the trolleys?

There are some challenges of course:

- At grade crossings at Central and Chapin would need to be eliminated or bridged (Chapin of course would need to be bridged)
- Not even sure if the ROW is wide enough for red line trains as the envelope would be wider than for the trolleys.
- would eliminate some stations, leaving as few as Mattapan and Lower Mills

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As the person who created the Friends of the Mattapan High Speed Line group on Facebook I have been pleasantly surprised with how many folks have gotten involved in the vision for the line's future. Initially, I was floored and outraged that the T would simply just discontinue the line and think a glorified bus line would be a proper and adequate replacement.

The option of switching to Type Nines by 2030 has left me with some key questions:

The Type Nine fleet was initially ordered to provide service for the Green Line Extension. 24 cars were ordered as that was the forecast vehicle requirement for service beyond Lechmere. Now that GLX track is actually being laid... how does the MBTA balance the streetcar requirements of two services which lack any physical connection? Do you "adjust" {read: cutback} service on GLX to free up the cars for Mattapan? Reduce service on the High Speed Line so fewer cars are needed? {Note the greater capacity of a Type Nine versus a PCC. The MBTA could argue that longer headways -- even during rush hour -- would not necessarily equal more crowded conditions.}

The very option of assigning some Type Nines to Mattapan also hinges on the final design, order/manufacture and acceptance of the Type Ten fleet. What if the Type Tens end up being like the Type Eights?! {That is: shenanigans-riddled specs lead to their delivery and acceptance getting wicked delayed. The first Type Eight arrived in 1998... the final one was accepted in 2008. And only 95 of the 100 cars ordered were actually completed...}

What ought to be part of the Mattapan Line discussion is not only analysis and planning for its infrastructure needs, but also robust planning for its future as a transit service. I mainly use the line to go chill with friends from Adams Village to Mattapan {and go take in the scenery along the Neponset; or Simco's}. Something that many of them have shared is A} how quick and convenient the trolley is and B} how poorly coordinated with other T service it can be. What does it take to have the Mattapan Trolley see an average of 10,000 weekday riders? 5,000 on an average Saturday? 2,500 on an average Sunday? Better coordination with local bus routes at Mattapan and Ashmont might help... but maybe that's just me...

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Is one of the most scenic rides the T offers. Any plan to abandon that route for bus service would be truly sad.

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RTD, the authority that runs the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcars, built its own replica cars for the newer Canal Street line. Perhaps they could build a dozen or so for Mattapan.

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It isn't broken...don't waste resources fixing, or modifying it! Leave it as it is!

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