Due to the pandemic the MBTA is experiencing a huge decrease in riders this year. That puts a huge dent into their budget, and thus they are proposing service cuts across the board. Last year, MBTA riders took 1.26 million daily trips, and in October 2020, riders took 330,000 daily trips. That's 26 percent of daily ridership compared to 2019, according to the MBTA. Yet, the MBTA has continued to operate at 2019 service levels despite a decrease in ridership.
The MBTA E Branch between the Heath Street and Prudential stops will be closed from Aug. 2 to Aug. 20 as part of Green Line track and intersection upgrades.
The closures are part of the accelerated Green Line Track and Intersections Upgrades Project. Free shuttles will operate all day, every day, during the closure. The MBTA Route 39 bus will be providing regular service during the closure. Prep work for the project began July 20 and continues this week from July 27-31 at Huntington Avenue near Parker Street/Forsyth Way.
The city's Go Boston 2030 transportation plan supports extending the Green Line's E-branch from Heath Street to Hyde Square, which the Arborway Committee for Public Transit fully supports. “A one-seat ride into the central subway with direct connections to the Red, Orange, and Blue Lines would be a boon for Hyde Square residents and businesses," said Franklyn Salimbene, chair of the Arborway Committee for Public Transit (ACPT), via press release. "It would improve transit service for the underserved Hyde Square neighborhood and the more than 1,000 new residents expected to live in new housing being built along South Huntington Avenue.”
Go Boston 2030 is a city initiative that envisions a transportation future for the next five, 10 and 15 years. The extension would improve access to Hyde Square, Boston’s Latin Quarter, and increase transit capacity along South Huntington Avenue. Along with extending the Green Line, ACPT would like South Huntington Avenue to be a “complete street” with improved pedestrian amenities and grade-separated cycle tracks for cyclists.
The MBTA had originally said that Tuesday rail service from Forest Hills would be like Monday's — AKA nada. But as of Tuesday morning, a reduced number of trains are making the trip from Forest Hills as far as Sullivan Square. The T's "Winter" page indicates Green Line trolleys still aren't running to JP. You'll have bus replacement service along the E line from Heath to Symphony on Tuesday. The Orange Line news wasn't widely publicized at first, as evidenced by this Tweet:
The beleaguered MBTA won't run subways on the Orange Line or the E-line trolley in Jamaica Plain on Monday. Instead, there'll be bus service from Forest Hills to Back Bay and from Heath Street to Northeastern. For more details, see the "Winter" page on the T's website. The T didn't run at all on Sunday during the most recent blizzard.
Local business owners say extension of the Green Line to Hyde Square would be a catalyst for continued growth — put the T doesn't have any plans to make it happen. Saul Adriel Cifuentes, owner of Beauty Masters Salon & Supply, which is right on the Hyde Square rotary where a hypothetical trolley might turn around, expressed support for the idea at June's meeting of the JP Neighborhood Council. "We've seen a lot of progress," Cifuentes said. Apologizing in advance for anyone who might take offense, he continued, "there's a lot of white people coming back." The Neighborhood Council, an elected advisory board, voted 12-2 in favor of the idea of bringing the Green Line up from Heath Street, where it currently ends, up to Hyde Square.