Editor’s note: This article was updated Thursday with revised information from the MBTA. At least it's not on the weekdays. Buses will be replacing MBTA train service from Forest Hills to Jackson Square on the weekends of June 30 and July 7. The disruption in train service is due to track work. Buses will replace Orange Line trains going both ways and will affect the following station: Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street and Forest Hills. The MBTA had originally planned for track work most weekends through early September but, in response to inquiries from Jamaica Plain News Thursday, clarified that the work schedule had been shortened:
The MBTA Route 39 bus is moving to its permanent location this Saturday, October 14th. The move will occur following the end of bus operations on Friday, October 13, as the 39 will cease operating from the Route 39 loop at the northern end (towards Doyle’s Café and the Monument) of the Forest Hills Station block. Beginning with the start of bus operations on Saturday, October 14, the Route 39 bus will operate from the upper busway at the MBTA Forest Hills Station, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Passengers looking to access the 39 should exit to the upper busway as normal and turn to their right as they exit the station. The area that was occupied by the Route 39 loop will immediately become part of the Casey Arborway work zone.
During a Wednesday rally in Jamaica Plain, politicians, MBTA mechanics and union supporters came together to chide for-profit companies that were allegedly snuck into MBTA garages "under the cloak of night" to check out properties they wish to control and replace union employees. Held at the MBTA Arborway Yard (3570 Washington St.), Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Somerville was joined by the INVEST NOW Coalition, MBTA mechanics who are members of IAM Local 264, and state Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain, to support MBTA mechanics, T riders and to stop the privatization of MBTA services. “These for-profit corporations appearing under cloak of night to begin seizing control of the MBTA demonstrates the lack of transparency surrounding this scheme that is being forced upon taxpayers, riders, and worker,” said Mike Vartabedian, business representative of IAM Local 264 via press release. “The public deserves management at the MBTA that is open and transparent. MBTA mechanics rank as the best in the nation, but thus far the negotiations have remained one-sided with the workers offering $29 million in savings and hearing only silence from management.”
The INVEST NOW Coalition have said the promised cost-savings of privatization are overblown and point to "the disastrous Keolis contract as evidence that the bids recently put forth by for-profit companies TransDev, First Tranist, and MV Transit cannot be trusted."
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Forest Hills construction project is a complete and utter debacle. A pedestrian approaching the MBTA station from central JP is greeted by foot-tall grass, months-old litter strewn everywhere, hedges that have not been trimmed since at least last year and a complete appearance of property neglect. The pedestrian corridors are poorly delineated, lack signage, and have no protection from impatient cars and buses. The time allowed on the traffic light to cross from South Street to the MBTA station is not nearly enough for a healthy, young adult much less for the elderly, the disabled or someone with children. Crossing to the Forest Hills subway stop from almost all directions is truly dangerous.
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.