With the Boston Globe reporting T ridership at its highest level in the agency's history despite dropping gas prices, and concern that so many people are using the red line that they are creating seat-less trains to hold more passengers, the MBTA must do several important things to hold on to this new increased ridership.
More people ride the Red Line daily than any other subway line. Dorchester residents make up a large portion of those riders and several of the city's busiest bus lines exist in our neighborhood. Dorchester is the largest and most diverse neighborhood in the city and must be a priority for the MBTA.
1. Create the Indigo Line: It is both an important and thoughtful idea to get more people from Somerville and Medford to take the T into the city instead of their cars through an extension of the Green Line, but more people in Dorchester rely on public transit as their only means of transportation and deserve a rapid transit in the western side of Dorchester. This could be addressed through the Indigo Line Plan. Providing rapid transit with more stations, where currently there is a commuter rail, would give daily, reliable, and fast transit to downtown for thousands.
2. Improvements to Red Line: Consider running more red line trains, run trains later (perhaps until 2:30 am, even if they are infrequent after midnight), and for Ashmont station have the next train wait at the platform (like they do in Braintree and Alewife) providing a seat and protection from the weather for passengers. Finally, better time the Mattapan-Ashmont trolley to drop off passengers just before the next inbound Red Line train leaves and hold trolleys to Mattapan if an outbound Red Line train has just arrived.
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(Pictures of the new Ashmont Station, proposed Indigo Line, and outside the new Fields Corner Station)