The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) voted during its meeting last month to support the proposal to extend the E branch of the Green Line to JP’s Hyde Square, according to JPNC member Michael Reiskind. That line travels down Huntington Avenue and S. Huntington Avenue in the Mission Hill area.
But the MBTA said now is not the time to do such a proposal.
“The MBTA is pleased that the neighborhood would like to see an expansion of its public transit options, but at this point in time, the MBTA has other priorities that require the Authority’s attention,” said MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo in an email to the Gazette.
Reiskind said the proposal is from the Arborway Committee, a transit advocacy group, and is essentially the same one that the group released last year with some updates. Reiskind is also a member of the Arborway Committee, as well is the JPNC Chair Kevin Moloney.
The Arborway Committee released a report last year advocating for the E branch of the Green Line to be extended to Hyde Square. The report includes various alternatives, including one routing the streetcar through the Hyde Square rotary.
The E branch of the Green Line formerly ran all the way to Forest Hills Station on S. Huntington Avenue, Centre Street and South Street. Service was reduced in 1985 and today Heath Street is the end of the line.
There was initially public support for restoration of service and the MBTA made a planning effort during the 1990s and early 2000s before eventually abandoning it. Public support had been eroding for the project and it became a major neighborhood controversy for years, but nonetheless, the Arborway Committee sued to try to keep the project alive. Its lawsuit was thrown out by a court in 2011.
Reiskind said the next steps are for the Arborway Committee to continue to elicit support for the proposal from the community.