Fate of Mattapan trolleys could be decided in six months

State Rep. Dan Cullinane (D-Dorchester) reports on an answer from the MBTA about the long-term status of the 1940s trolleys that now run between Mattapan Square and Ashmont:

The MBTA is currently initiating a study that will evaluate the options for the future Mattapan car fleet. The existing fleet has been in service since 1946. Parts are no longer available to support these vehicles and they are becoming more unreliable. The MBTA plans to have completed this study of various replacement options in six months.

He adds that, in the short term, the T is hopeful it can keep the trolleys running more frequently after winter storms:

Unfortunately the PCC (Presidential Cable Cars) are extremely vulnerable to snow and moisture. As a precaution, because of no spare parts, when the snow fall exceeds approximately 5 inches they need to stop running the service. This winter the MBTA is better prepared to clear the line and resume service because of new snow fighting equipment.

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Bus Rapid Transit

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If they decide to convert the Mattapan line to Bus Rapid Transit than it should be the Gold standard and extended up Blue Hill Avenue to the Franklin Park Zoo and back with connections to the Franklin Field Housing development and the new CR station on Blue Hill avenue.

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Keep dreaming

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MBTA had a golden opportunity to do BRT for the Seaport Silver Line. They had a blank canvass, and were building transit to support wealthy white people.

If they couldn't get it done there, how in the hell could they generate the financial and political will to do it in Dorchester/Milton/Mattapan?

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Keep dreaming 2

Don't forget, the T proposed extending the current SL from Dudley down blue hill ave, and the community responded with a resounding NO.

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No BRT on BHA

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They wanted to do that before they hatched that Route 28X scheme. They would have built a BRT right-of-way down the middle of Blue Hill Ave, which by the way would follow the former trolley reservation they ended in the mid-50s and eventually paved over.

However all of the people along that proposed line RESOUNDINGLY made it clear to the MBTA that they did not want a BRT what so ever, and told the MassDOT to move on. The meetings the DOT held were also held on short notice and at odd times and they almost got away with it until the people got their reps in line and quite a few city and state reps got to the meetings and gave the MassDOt hell.

That's why you now have extra-long articulated buses on that line. MassDOT framed it as a shovel ready project and got money to buy those extra long buses for the Rt 28 line. Those were supposed to populate a BRT right-of-way.

So that ain't happening. The people who ride the T don't want it - period.

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PCC

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President's conference committee streetcar.

Nothing to do with cables.

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oh snap

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how about make the green line extension eclectric busses? probaly save a trillion bucks

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Snow?

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Green Line extension as buses? Nope. No place to plow the snow. Much of it is elevated in places and you cannot let a snow plow toss snow over the edge.

Yeah... I know... lots of plows do that at bridges but they are not supposed to.

That would be the first thing closed in a snow storm when you need it the most.

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Have the Chinese company build replica PCC's in Springfield

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“It’s the first project in the U.S. What we’re completely focused on next is to get it right,” Weiping Yu, a CRRC vice president who runs its overseas operations, told Boston.com through a translator.

Have the Chinese company building the new Red and Orange line cars make modern replicas of the PCC's with plenty of replacement parts. They copy everything else, why not some 1940s trolleys?

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A Study

The study sounds like complete BS. The MBTA has done studies on the GLX, extensions to New Bedford, Fall River, etc. and nothing has happened. Those studies are pushed by the Gateway City (Read:Failed Urban Area) Politician Coalition (Not You Somerville) and the Construction Industry to eventually get some kind of windfall.

This seems different. This is like the scene in Brassed Off (Anyone Seen It?) where studies are being done about the amount of coal left in the mine but the decision has already been made. The mine (here the line) are being shut down without regard for the people most effected by it.

Let's hope the line can hold on until 2019 when Faker is tossed out. The massive infrastructure of the Mattapan line is being tossed away because of hardware issues, only someone doesn't have the stones to go to the hardware store and pick up a new trolley.

It has happened with Watertown, Arborway, and now it will happen here. 10 Park Plaza and the corner office have teamed up to say "Here's Your Bus Negro" if you don't like it, we don't care.

Where's Faker's new cuddle pal Marty on this? A lot of the riders are his constituents, who helped push him to the top of the ticket and many of the people who get off at Cedar Grove, Butler, and Milton are his neighbors. now.

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Follow Up

The new Green Line cars, which are much bigger than the PCC's on the line now cost $4.9 million each, based upon the cost of the 24 new cars ordered in 2014.

We have 10 functioning PCC's now on the High Speed Line. Why can't we have the Great White Father from Swampscott sprinkle say $20 million on one of the areas of the city that is the economic engine of the state, and get 4 to 5 new cars for the Mattapan line and use some of the PCC's for parts? The Green Line ran for years with both PCC"s and LRV's

Yes, a bus is $1M each, but in the long run is a far, far less economical vehicle for the line since their life span is only 5 years.

Save The Mattapan Line.

By the way, I smell a rat construction contract in all of this after the line is made kaput and bustitution is needed.

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Nah

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Why can't we have the Great White Father from Swampscott sprinkle say $20 million on one of the areas of the city that is the economic engine of the state, and get 4 to 5 new cars for the Mattapan line and use some of the PCC's for parts?

He's too busy tax breaks to GE..

"Let them eat cake"

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Screw You MBTA

This seems like such political "Fuck You" to the MBTA riders -- much like when they turned off the lights on the Zakim because people were complaining about waste.

No one in their right mind can look at a train line which works perfectly fine, has plenty of spare parts, and is liked by the public and decide that it's best to shut it down and replace it with something which could only be worse. They say they have 10 fully operational trains and only 6 are needed for peak service. Well, come back when you're down to six.

Meanwhile EVERY OTHER LINE is failing, we have the #1 most unreliable mass transit system in the country, and the only thing they can think of is to cut a tiny part which is likely the most notable and well functioning aspect?!?! Cutting this service will do NOTHING to help the system -- it will only take away something people enjoy.

Fuck you, Charlie Baker and everyone else behind this. Every horrible thing about the T today is the result of some jackass like you in the past saying "we can't afford it" and cutting basic maintenance and train overhauls. For once in your pathetic elected existence try to figure out how to solve a problem without cuts. You're like 15th century doctors who think the cure to every sickness is amputation.

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They have 10 PCC cars, they

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They have 10 PCC cars, they need 5 to cover the rush-hour schedule. 3 of the 10 cars have been out of service for lack of parts for a long period (one car since 2009, one since 2013, the other for about a year). If another car goes down for something long-term, they will start to have trouble fielding enough to meet the rush-hour schedule.

Whether they are rebuilt with modern components, replaced by hand-me-down Green Line cars, or replaced by battery-electric buses, somethings going to have to happen or service will just eventually shut-down in a few years for lack of equipment,

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As somebody pointed out in

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As somebody pointed out in one of the other threads on this, a few casual minutes with a search engine found at least one company that looked like it might be able to fabricate what's needed.

Team up with the other cities which are running PCCs in regular or heritage service! They have some of the same issues and needs - team up for better purchasing power.

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The MBTA PCC cars use air

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The MBTA PCC cars use air-brakes while the other remaining operators, the largest being San Fransisco, use electric brakes. There are actually two distinct types of PCC cars (air-electric or all-electric) with many differences within those types between all the fleets that once existed. There is enough of a difference that the Boston cars need parts that are not the same. For parts that are the same, San Francisco uses so many, that it sometimes makes it more difficult, not easier, for any other user to get them.

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Nonetheless We Have A Blacksmith

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Hire even more workers for out parts and blacksmith shop and offset costs by selling parts to SF. Between all the cities still using PCC cars there has got to be an untapped market we can exploit.

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The trolley museum

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in Maine says they wouldn't take the Boston PCC trolleys because they are so common and they already have enough of them. It's like old VW Beetles you could likely keep a fleet of a hundred of them going indefinitely with nothing but the carcasses of all the rest that are rotting in junkyards, without ever having a new part fabricated. The parts crisis they keep talking about is straight up LIES and mis-information. A majority of the public knows squat about metal fabrication or antique vehicle restoration. There are plenty of Model Ts out there. The world's #1 supplier of Model T parts is in....MASSACHUSETTS!! https://www.modeltford.com/
Few years back they did a cross country ride with over 100 of these century old relics. Breakdowns happened of course, and were able to be fixed on the road with a couple of exceptions. They have new parts exclusively manufactured for them for their catalog and do millions of dollars in sales every year. Making parts ISN'T A PROBLEM.
We live on the doorstep of MIT, the T has its own machine shop, tech and vocational schools are in the area.There are creative solutions to this problem but none of them involve sweetheart deals for politicians' friends, construction contracts, or fancy new projects that can be trotted out as victories come the next election cycle. Just keep throwing bad money at the problem and watch contractors steal it and deliver sub-par goods.
I'd love to see the finish of these Chinese cars they are ordering compared to 40s era American craftsmanship of the PCC cars.

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Very few of the PCCs Seashore

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Very few of the PCCs Seashore has are actually in running condition, as they are much more difficult to maintain than the early types of cars they replaced. And critical parts, like functioning motor-generator sets for the low voltage power supply on the cars, are hard to come by and difficult to overhaul.

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the MBTA says...

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super.... we have an excuse to cut a service.... lets go for it.

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More a priority than Green Line Extension

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The maintenance and improvement of existing lines should be the priority, even more than the Green Line extension. We've expanded rail to the suburbs enough over the last two decades, time to focus on what we have. If they can figure a way to get the extension costs under control and paid for, fine, but not before this line is has new or rebuilt equipment.

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Doomed

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--- Presidential Cable Cars--- OMG this dude doesn't even know what to call them and he's making decisions? President's Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars.

Snow? So how many old timers remember these units breaking down in winter in years gone by? I'm old enough to remember them operating on Huntington Ave and Centre Street, and also the "A" line to Watertown. Things didn't start to break down till they modernized.

LIES!

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