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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Better Future For the Red Line

In a period of change and in the midst of a financial restructuring for the MBTA, the Red Line’s future could look rather promising.

At their meeting on Sept. 19, the Fiscal and Management Control Board of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority discussed possibly pouring millions of dollars into upgrades for the outdated trains of the Red Line.

Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Gonneville suggested that the MBTA officials should consider completely replacing the existing 86 cars of the Red Line, as it would prove more effective in the future than simply repairing and updating them.

Furthermore, he also suggested that the MBTA should increase the number of trains running on the Red Line in order to improve the service. Gonneville specified that with around 24 more cars in the fleet, the Red Line would be better able to serve its riders.

In his presentation, Gonneville explained that currently only 13 trains can run on the Red Line per hour. This means that during this time, 20,280 customers are able to ride the Red Line. However, a bigger and newer fleet of trains could mean an increase in trains running. Moreover, the technologically updated “Red Line No. 4 Car” would guarantee more safety for riders and control for drivers. According to Gonneville, the new cars include an “improved braking control technology,” an “improved trigger for vehicle signal controller,” as well as an “advanced propulsion system.” This means that the cars will require a shorter braking distance, while at the same time being capable of running faster for longer.

The Chief Operating Officer projected that these new trains could increase the Red Line’s capacity by a stunning 50 percent, from 13 to 20 trains an hour. In other words, this would result in an increased ridership of up to 30,420 commuters per hour.

While the MBTA has already planned to replace around 60 percent of Red Line cars, there would still be a remaining 40 percent of trains left that would only get an overhaul. However, the new cars would not go into service before 2023.
For more information about the MBTA and the Fiscal and Management Control Board’s scheduled public meetings, visit mbta.com.