Getting from place to place in Boston can be a bit problematic, particularly for those who are traveling by car and have to deal with city traffic. Luckily, public transportation helps to alleviate the travel burden. To ensure public transportation offers residents with the best option possible, the MBTA has announced a few upcoming changes.
Red Line to Get New Cars
Thanks to a newly approved plan from the MBTA, the Red Line’s current cars will be slowly replaces over the next 10 years. The agency has announced plans to purchase an additional 120 to 130 cars from a Chinese manufacturer either before or around the year 2024. Despite being purchased from a Chinese manufacturer, the cars themselves will actually be built at a plant in Springfield. While the plan will cost up to $280,000,000, it is still less expensive than the previous plan that called for overhauling the 84 current cars on the T’s busiest line.
In addition to upgrading to a newer look, the changeover should also help to improve the services along the route. Frequently plagued by delays, the route should see an increase in capacity and a decrease in wait times once the new cars are put in place. Not only will this help ensure the train is running on time, but it should also help to reduce the amount of crowding currently experienced in the train cars.
As part of the changeover process, there is also some speculation that the trains will enjoy technological improvements as well. For example, the MBTA could add doors to the station platforms that slide open as the train doors slide open. The new cards could also provide the MBTA with the opportunity to run autonomous, or driver-less, trains on the Red Line tracks.
Green Line Extension Faces Possible Delays
Despite plans to start opening in 2017 and to finish opening in 2020, the Green Line extension appears to be experiencing some delays. According to State officials, the opening date for the seven new stations along the Green Line extension is now being pushed back to 2021.
Under the plans for the new extension, the train will run through Somerville into Medford. The recent delay announcement, however, will not only delay the addition of the new train route but will also delay the 4.7 mile extension itself. Officials have stated that there are a number of hurdles that still need to be cleared before the extension can be completed. Among these hurdles is the need for additional federal funding to help pay for the project.
As the region’s biggest planned infrastructure project, the extension is going to be quite costly to complete. Nonetheless, it has been highly anticipated by those who live and work along the route. Officials say they plan to pick a new team of contractors to work on the project in the late part of 2017. Meanwhile, they have already made changes to two of the seven stations that are to be included along the route. The Washington Street shop will now be named East Somerville while the Lowell Street stop will be called Magoun Square.