The racial politics of the proposed Readville train-repair facility

Adrian Walker introduces us to the people behind MBCR's proposed $65-million train-repair facility at the old Stop & Shop warehouse complex - who, it turns out, would not be MBCR:

MBCR may have done less than due diligence on some of the people it has chosen to help manage the rail line. In addition to Taylor, a charming man who as a matter of historical record struggled just to run a fried chicken restaurant, the partners include twin bothers Juan and James Cofield, who together nearly managed the Boston branch of the NAACP into the ground several years ago. It is unlikely that anyone who really knows the black community would have assembled this particular team.



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    I'm not talking about other lines.

    Im talking about two lines that are of equal distance (stops located in the city) and located in the City of Boston. One is considered Zone 1 and the other Zone 1A. One is in a predominantly Black/Low-Income section of the city while the other is located predominantly White/Middle-Income section of the city. And then theirs Roslindale, which is not predominately anything and far closer to S. Station than any stop in HP.

    So to quote you: "Citation Please".


    Readville is Zone 2

    The most expensive T ride in the city at $6.00 each way, as opposed to the oppressed people in West Roxbury who pay $5.50 each way.

    I think what you are thinking of is the $2.50 each way difference between Hyde Park Station and Fairmont Station, which are 5 blocks apart in the center of Hyde Park.

    Fairmont is an outlier on the Fairmont line. The other stations are closer in than Forest Hills and are in the same zone as the same.

    So, you want the fare from Fairmont raised?


    They do

    But Readville, which is where the original poster was referencing, is Zone 2. Fairmont is something the MBTA decided. The deeper question should be why Hyde Park is Zone 1 when a short walk away there is a station equidistant to South Station that is Zone 1A.

    Swirly has it right. Other than Fairmont, the fares are based on distance. My guess is that 6 miles gets one to Zone 1 (with the exception noted) Readville is over 9 miles out. Hyde Park, Roslindale, Bellevue, Highland, and West Roxbury are between 6 and 9 miles from South Station. The racial references we'll just chalk up to latent racism, and I am loathe to do just that.

    Hyde Park and Fairmount

    The reason why the MBTA changed the zones for Fairmount and inward is because a community group organized to help plan and push for improvements on the corridor, and they asked the MBTA to lower the fare in order to spur ridership on a disused line. The MBTA agreed that it would be a good idea. If any of you want to see something similar for your neighborhood, I recommend also bringing together a community group and come up with some good reasons the MBTA should rezone your station. It's worth a shot.

    But I will say this: there is a fairly important distinction between the Fairmount line and the rest of the stations you all are talking about. Hyde Park is a small station on the major Northeast Corridor. The Needham line is a branch of the Northeast Corridor. The Fairmount line is entirely separate from the Northeast Corridor and is not subject to its constraints except at South Station. Now, there are a limited number of "slots" for a train to fit on the busy Northeast Corridor, and a train that makes a stop at Hyde Park requires an even longer time slot than one which does not. So it would not surprise me at all to learn that the MBTA really wants to discourage ridership at Hyde Park station, because they do not want to stop trains there as much, especially with Amtrak pushing for service level increases over the next decade. By lowering the fare at Fairmount, they may be hoping that most of the ridership makes the switch.

    Oh, it's a good reason

    I just wanted to give it to the anon who was using the Readville proposal to go on about how the poor people of Roslindale and West Roxbury are forced to pay so much to take the commuter rail into town, even though if they were so hard off financially could take the bus (35, 36, and 37, with a bunch more from Roslindale Square) to the Orange Line, just like the hard off financially people in Hyde Park take the 32 to Forest Hills to avoid the zone 1, or even zone 2, fare charged on the commuter rail from Hyde Park.

    My hope is that someday the Fairmont line is transformed into what some people want- a kind of rapid transit line. We'll see.

    trains are trains

    I'd say the pricing discrepency between the commuter rail and other lines is even more egregious.
    Why should it cost me $7 to take a train from Roslindale to Downtown, but only cost someone from Newton $2 to go from the suburbs like Newton to do the same?

    Adrian you are wrong

    The black community you refer to resides in the inner city,the black community that gets the great deals reside on Martha's Vineyard. They do have OFD and OFR bumper stickers on their mercedes in a show of solidarity


    Are you shipping me ? This

    Are you shipping me ? This sounds like something Jesse would scheme up. Beyond the turning of nuts and bolts on the T trains, this venture would need the tentacles of Bombardier to reach out and build on this facility. Are the other partners in MBCR down with this scheme? Are they running scared here of competition and trying to sweeten the pot? Maybe Marsha can help to un-convolute this shenanigan.

    Bingo , we have a lucky

    Bingo , we have a lucky winner ! Sheesh, can you dig it , its a mystery to some ! What practical , or technical , expertise , does the inclusion of these article mentioned dudes bring to the equation ? What could the reason be , some sort of vulture capitalism? Sorry Swirls , no dogs , but I feed the birds and the deer. Just came home with three bags of cracked corn as a matter of matter. Gonna be a blow later in the week , the deer need fortification.

    Jesse Jackson?

    You really think that Deval used Jesse Jackson as some kind of model? I don't see it. Black politicians who are seen as black leaders, such as Jesse Jackson, have a hard time winning the white vote. However, some Black politicians, like Deval & Obama, who were never Black leaders and also never represented a minority district, have a much easier time winning support across the spectrum. The models are completely different.


    They are Kvn's dogs ... he was using a very high pitched method of signalling them.

    Not that I think much of Martha Coakley, mind you, but the injection of !!!ZOMG BOOGYMEN!!! into the conversation is really odd here.


    I just bought a house in

    I just bought a house in Readville. The decision was based on a number of practical factors, including the commuter rail access and the convergence of two separate lines, Fairmount and Forge Park, that takes place there. I take these to and from work and I can say that the service is not great, but it's not poor either. There is of course much that could be done to improve them. My biggest gripe was the fare jump for the Readville stop. You go from Zone 1A at Fairmount to Zone 2 at Readville, bypassing Zone 1 altogether. I pay over $100 more to ride one stop.

    The smooth operation and continued improvement of this system should be the only thing considered. Who's the best person/councilor to appeal to to ensure that that is put in the forefront?

    Well, that's good.

    It's a great location, two rail terminals. I wonder about the clever planning of putting a train repair yard at the old S&S when you have an old train repair yard already existing in Readville. The old NHRR yard was huge, not near a wetland and until a few years ago a fine mess.

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

    My wife and I bought into Readville about three years ago, and we love it. (Despite not being Italian, much to the disdain of all the old biddies here who think non-Italians should GTFO.) The train fare fiasco is fairly new, and so far none of our elected officials seem to care about the massive jump in fare for a few blocks worth of rail. Your best bet is probably incoming counselor Tim McCarthy. He's Readville born and bred, so he SHOULD be interested. Not that he's shown any interest thus far. Of course to be fair, neither did Consalvo.

    Walk a mile in his shoes

    It seems downright mean-spirited for Walker to criticize Taylor's inability "just to run a fried chicken restaurant." Running a restaurant looks lot easier from the outside than from within. Taylor's background is in transit, he tried getting into the fried chicken business, failed, and is now returning to transit.

    MBCR Contract Ploy

    Plans to build a major repair facility in the former Readville Stop and Shop complex are being leaked during the last week of the King of Hyde Parks administration. Do you think that is a coincidence?. The former General Manager for MBCR hatched this plan without a clue or concern for who he was dealing with or what the impact would be for the community. Clueless