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The Patriot Ledger: Legislators Want Better Notice of Trolley Shutdowns

MILTON, FEB. 12 - State legislators from Milton and Dorchester want the MBTA to give riders better notice when the Mattapan High-Speed line is out-of-service

A group of state legislators wants the MBTA to improve outreach to customers when the trolleys on the Mattapan High-Speed line are out of service.

State Reps. Bill Driscoll, D-Milton, and Daniel Cullinane, D-Dorchester, met with top MBTA officials Thursday to convey the anger of the line’s riders with the recent shutdown of the line. Both legislators have stations of the trolley line in their districts.

Also, they were briefed on the $7.9 million in state plans to spend this year to replace the trucks on the trolleys to improve the service. The trolleys on the line are more than 70 years old.

Cullinane said that as important as it is for the legislators to understand the mechanical reasons for the shutdown, it was equally important for them to share the frustrations of the riders.

“Commuters are absolutely angry over how much time is added to their commutes when they have to rely on shuttle buses instead of the trolley, but were perhaps even more angry at the lack of information coming from the MBTA during the prolonged service outage,” Cullinane said.

He said the MBTA needs a multilingual communications plan to inform riders of shutdowns.

Driscoll said it is imperative that riders be informed of service changes so they can alter their daily routines.

“Even with aged equipment I do not think it is too much to ask for clear guidance from the T on route changes and where to pickup a bus or other alternative transit,” Driscoll said.

State Rep. Dan Hunt, who has also been active on this issue, said the line is a critical service for many of its riders.

“It’s encouraging that the T is willing to work with the delegation, but they have to understand that shuttle buses are not a suitable substitute,” Hunt said.

The legislators’ suggestions include multilingual advertising to sign-up for T service alerts, improved signage, and a route map of the shuttle bus service.

Article originally published on The Patriot Ledger website on Feb 9, 2018

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