Reps. Driscoll and Fluker Oakley seek answers from MBTA re: Mattapan Trolley improvements

May 7, 2021

The Honorable Steve Poftak General Manager Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

RE: Request for Briefing on Status of Mattapan High Speed Line Projects

Dear General Manager Poftak:

As you can imagine, we were not pleased when we heard the recent NBC10 Boston investigative report that the Mattapan trolley refurbishment project is now two years behind schedule. As you know, our legislative delegation in the state House of Representatives has been seeking updates on the progress of the Mattapan High Speed Line related projects, most recently in a letter dated November 25, 2020.

We write today to request the MBTA host a briefing that provides updates on the following projects. It is our request that this briefing be held as soon as possible and for elected representatives whose constituencies rely on the High Speed Line, in addition to the both of us.

  • $7.9M refurbishment project to fully overhaul the existing Presidential Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars

  • $118M Mattapan High Speed Line Transformation project included in the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2020-2024

Regarding the $7.9M trolley refurbishment project, the Covid-19 pandemic can understandably account for much of any delay between March 2020 and May 2021; however, it does not explain the apparent void of any action on the PCC car refurbishment between March 2019 and March 2020 – a full year prior to the pandemic. In the spring of 2019, we were informed that a lead paint issue had caused delays in restoration work but that it had been addressed and the public could expect the first refurbished trolley to roll onto the tracks in August 2019. Today, that first trolley to start rehab is still sitting, stripped and disassembled, in the repair facility. It appears that nothing has been done since the spring of 2019 or earlier.

As stated in earlier letters to your office, we are seeking updates on these projects because the High Speed Line remains a vital transportation link for our constituents and neighbors.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. If you have any questions about our request, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

William J. Driscoll, Jr. Brandy Fluker Oakley State Representative, 7th Norfolk State Representative, 12th Suffolk



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