Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a series of frequently asked questions regarding light rail service to the Arborway. The answers are taken from MBTA documents except where noted. In most instances, the answers seek to compare aspects of the light rail vehicles (LRV), which would be used under the current mandate of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection [see 310 CMR 7.36 (2)(d)], and the MBTA's proposed alternative, a 60-foot compressed natural gas bus (CNG).

Extension of the line to Hyde Square will connect Hyde Square and adjacent neighborhoods directly to the central subway. It will provide no-transfer public transit to and from Park Street Station and Government Center for the increasing number of residents on South Huntington Avenue and in adjoining neighborhoods. The extension will also provide a more reliable and comfortable ride than the Route 39 bus.

The extension from the current last stop at Heath Street to the Hyde Square neighborhood is approximately 0.65 miles. The streetcar will travel along South Huntington Avenue to Hyde Square.
Yes. We envision a segregated cycle lane on each side of South Huntington Avenue built between the sidewalk and the parking lane; intersection bump-outs, signage, and benches for pedsetrians; and where traffic signals exist, pedestrian and cyclist signal sequences. We also propose sheltered accessible transit stops with fare vending machines and passenger amenities. More information about “complete streets” can be found here.
We offer four possible options. The South Huntington Avenue option is a simple design with the boarding platform in the middle of the avenue and tracks on either side of the platform. The Barbara Street option brings the streetcar down Barbara to a stop at the intersection with Centre Street creating a plaza-like feel for passengers and pedestrians. These possible options and two others are referenced in our Hyde Square “White Paper.”
They include State Representative Jeff Sanchez, District City Councilor Matt O’Malley, City Council President Michelle Wu, and Councilors-at- Large Michael Flaherty, Annissa Essaibi George, and Ayanna Pressley. The extension is also supported by the City of Boston Transportation Department. It is included in the City’s Go Boston 2030 Plan.
The extension is supported by the following: The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, The Hyde Square Task Force, The Jamaica Pond Association, Sherrill House, Mount Pleasant Home, AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, Eden Properties (Goddard House), and a coalition of Hyde Square merchants.
In 2003, the MBTA estimated the cost for building one mile of streetcar line along South Huntington Avenue at $26.4 million. The proposed extension is approximately 0.65 mile, each tenth of a mile costing $2.64 million. Considering the low rate of inflation since 2003, however, even if one figures an inflation rate of 15-18%, the cost would be roughly $20 million. Other aspects of the “complete streets” design would add to the final cost, but would likely be a shared cost with the City of Boston.
The extension will benefit residents in the northernmost neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain. These include not only the Hyde Square neighborhood, but also Pondside abutting the length of South Huntington Avenue, the Boylston Street neighborhood, and the Centre Street neighborhood surrounding the Mary Curley School. The extension will provide a direct single-seat ride into the central subway. It will also provide access to Hyde Square, recognized by the City Council as Boston’s "Latin Quarter" and a destination for many throughout the metropolitan area with its unique shopping and dining experiences.

The Arborway Committee for Public Transit, Inc
A 501(c)(3) Organization
20 Rambler Road Jamaica Plain 02130
Copyright 2017