Mayor Wu Names Jamaica Plain Resident (and Regular 39 Bus Rider) to MBTA Board of Directors

Mayor Michelle Wu recently appointed Jamaica Plain resident Mary Skelton Roberts, a regular 39 bus rider, to the MBTA's board of directors. For many years Boston fought to have a person represent the city on the board, and the Legislature and governor finally created a board seat specifically to represent the city in August. Roberts is a regular commuter who most often takes the 39 bus and Orange Line, and brings extensive experience with transportation policy to advance climate solutions and foster thriving communities. She is currently the president of the Climate Beacon Conference and senior advisor to the Climate Beacon Project, a newly established non-profit committed to ensuring Massachusetts achieves an equitable energy transition, and also on the Governor’s Latino Empowerment Council, according to a press release. She begins representing Boston at this week’s MBTA Board meeting on Thursday morning.


Photos: Construction of the Southwest Corridor Rail Lines from 1980s

The Southwest Corridor rail lines were constructed in the early 1980s. Check out these photos from back then that include construction of the rail lines, English High School, views of downtown, and more. All photos courtesy of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society/Will and Sharlene Cochrane. All photo information provide by Jamaica Plain Historical Society.  


Want to Represent Boston on MBTA Board of Directors?

Earlier this month, the state legislature and Governor Maura Healey passed a state budget that created a seat for a Boston resident to be on the board of directors for the MBTA. Would you like to be the person to fill that seat? The new seat on the board will give Boston "a direct role in the governance of the region’s public transit system." In the coming weeks, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu will be considering candidates to serve on the board, which meets monthly and holds monthly subcommittee meetings. The city wants residents to share "your ideas, hopes, and concerns with Mayor Wu and the new MBTA Board of Directors member."


Update Meeting: Arborway Electric Bus Facility Project on June 22

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is holding an in-person public meeting on June 22 to provide an overview of 15% of the design plans to create a facility to support a 100% battery electric bus fleet. The MBTA is designing a new facility at the Arborway Bus Yard in Forest Hills at the corner of Washington Street and Arborway to support a 100% battery electric bus (BEB) fleet. BEBs will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around the facility and routes served. The new facility will expand the MBTA's fleet size to serve additional routes in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The new facility will also provide capacity for 60-foot buses that carry greater numbers of riders on busy routes.


MBTA Orange Line Suspended Between North Station and Ruggles This Weekend

MBTA Orange Line service will be suspended between North Station and Ruggles this weekend. The work is geared to elimination slow zones that were supposed to be eliminated during the month-long shutdown of the Orange Line last year, reported The Boston Globe. Shuttle service will be available from Forest Hills to Back Bay.

Preview of new Orange Line trains, Monday, April 3, 2017

Old Orange Line Cars May Ride Rails Again!

The MBTA has fixed the power cables to several Orange Line trains that were not working correctly, and have been working on a contingency plan in case the newish trains fail again. Possibly use the old Orange Line trains again! The MBTA provided an update to its Dec. 30 tweet about a broken power component during a routine inspection of a newish Orange Line train, and so the entire fleet needed to be inspected. On Jan.


Letter: Minority Communities Disproportionately Impacted by Unprecedented Orange Line Shutdown

As communities across Greater Boston feel the effects of the MBTA’s 30-day Orange Line shut down we the representatives of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA), with the support of the Coalition for an Equitable Economy, and the Asian Business Empowerment Council (ABEC) want to register our deep concern about the impact this shutdown will have on our community members, many of whom are Black and Asian residents that rely on the MBTA for transportation every day. 

The pause of one of the MBTA’s most popular subway lines affects a vital corridor connecting Boston’s downtown area to predominantly Black neighborhoods, including Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Roxbury, and Mission Hill, as well as Asian workers and residents in Chinatown. 
Unfortunately, MBTA safety and efficiency issues have plagued the transit system for years. Accidents, derailments, and disruptions put people’s lives and livelihoods at risk, while also eroding trust in the system and its leadership. We have not been reassured by the quality of the MBTA’s prior mitigation efforts and now its communications to riders about this new initiative. Non-English speakers were the last to learn about the shutdown and consequently there have been no efforts to provide translated signage or easy access to interpretation services in advance, making these communities face a monumental task just to plan their commutes. Riders deserve a firm commitment from the MBTA that Orange Line service will significantly improve after this unprecedented diversion.


Orange Line Being Shutdown for 30 Days Starting August 19

The MBTA will be shutting down the Orange Line for 30 days beginning August 19 to accelerate needed major track and maintenance work. The shutdown will begin approximately 9 pm on August 19 through September 18 with service resuming on September 19. The MBTA said the 30 day shutdown will provide an opportunity to finish several projects five years faster than originally planned. That work includes track repair, tie replacement, concrete work, and more along the Southwest Corridor, which will improve reliability. Other projects include track replacement, upgrading signal systems, and station improvements.


The Last Streetcar to Arborway

Saturday, December 28, 1985

It was the last streetcar, or was it? Stepping off the car at South and Custer streets that very early December morning certainly had a death-like feel to it. It was winter, it was cold, and it was dark as the door of the car closed behind me. I stepped onto the sidewalk and watched the two-car train of Presidential Conference Cars (PCCs as they were called) move off into the distance toward Forest Hills. As it rounded a curve in South Street heading to its final destination at Arborway, the sound of its wheels on the tracks echoed off the three-decker houses that framed its route on either side.


MBTA Plans Modernizing Arborway Yard for Zero Emissions Bus Fleet, Transfer Land for Affordable Housing

The MBTA is planning to update the modernize the Arborway Bus Yard to create a multi-level facility to accommodate more buses, and convert its entire fleet to electric buses. Currently, two MBTA-owned properties comprise the Arborway Bus Yard site (3600 Washington St. and 500 Arborway) with a total 18.85 acres. Part of the MBTA Bus Facility Modernization Program also includes transferring eight acres of land (Pole Yard) on the site to the city to create affordable housing, according to MBTA documents. The plan is just in the beginning phases, as the MBTA's timeline calls for a public process from next year through 2024, with targeted construction in 2024, and being completed in 2027.