MBTA Holds Green Line Transformation Meeting

By Lauren Bennett

The MBTA held a public meeting regarding the Green Line Transformation project—specifically regarding the E line—on September 26 at the Tobin Community Center.

The Green Line Transformation project is an $8 billion, five-year capital investment plan, and the meeting was held for the community to learn more about the project as well as have their questions and concerns addressed.

According to a slide show presented at the meeting, the goal of the project is to “improve the Green Line quality of service, including increased capacity and enhanced accessibility, through fleet modernization, infrastructure/facility upgrades and state-of-the-art technology.”

There are shorter term goals and longer term goals of the project. Shorter term goals include improving schedule adherence, increasing accessible stations, and improving climate resiliency with the Fenway Portal Project. The MBTA also has plans to acquire “Type 10 ‘Supercar’” vehicles, which will increase peak core capacity of the central subway by 15 percent.  On the D and E branches, there will be infrastructure changes so 2-Supercar trains can be operated. Other shorter-term projects include track, power, and signal work, working on stations, structures, and accessibility, technology for riders and operations, and rolling stock, specialty equipment, and facilities, the presentation said.

Looking more longer-term, there will be changes to operate the 2-Supercar trains on all branches, according to the presentation, which will “increase peak core capacity of subway by 100%,” the presentation states. Other plans include making 22 more stations accessible, improving customer experience with stations that are easy to use, and improving safety with platforms that are separated from traffic.

Upgrades for operations include what is called the “Green Line Intelligent Decision Execution System,” or  GLIDES, which “improves headway adherence, decreases passenger wait time, and increases operational readiness”, as well as the Transit Signal Priority (TSP), which will “increase line speed, decrease dwell time, and enhance intersection safety,” the MBTA said.

Tools for riders include upgrading the GPS system in train trackers as well as creating e-Ink station signs which will provide real-time information about where trains are in the system.

As for the vehicles themselves, the Type 9 Light Rail Vehicle was introduced in December 2018 and the MBTA hopes to deliver 24 vehicles by the end of the year. The Supercar, or Type 10 vehicles, will help to transition he fleet to longer cars. A Request for Information was released to the industry in April of this year, according to the MBTA, and they will have a Technical Specification by the end of the year. These cars replace two of the existing Green Line cars, but use one less  operator. These trains will double the capacity of the Green Line cars, which will help with the issue of overcrowding that is so prevalent on the Green Line.

For more information on the Green Line Transformation project, visit mbta.com/GLT.

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