RED LINE CAPACITY PROGRAM
STATEMENT OF NEED
Overcrowding currently impacts a number of Red Line stations during peak hours. Congestion at stations and on trains causes longer boarding times, uncomfortable passenger conditions and train delays. Conditions are expected to worsen as population and job growth continue to drive higher passenger demand, especially in the core of the Red Line where the route is already over capacity during peak commute periods.
Capital projects that add to the Red Line’s ability to carry passengers in its existing footprint, especially at peak times, are part of this program.
Several projects that are currently underway will be included in this program:
• Replacement of the Red Line fleet with new higher performance transit vehicles
• Upgrades to the signal system
• Cabot maintenance facility, yard, and test track.
Additional projects included in the Red Line Capacity Program may range from addressing operational bottlenecks at Alewife, Columbia Junction, and Park Street to developing a fiber optic connection to operate switches faster at JFK station. Together, these improvements would allow higher frequency service and reduce the time trains are stopped to drop off and pick up passengers. Improvements to Red Line capacity would alleviate crowding and associated delays.
Expanding the Red Line capacity is essential to increasing transit capacity and ensuring that the MBTA can meet future ridership demands in the growing Inner Core of Boston. The combined projects will allow 3 minute headways on the Red Line in the weekday peak period, which will provide a 50% increase in capacity compared to the existing system. The program will relieve overcrowding and reduce station wait time, and delay. As a result, such efforts to improve the Red line would primarily address Focus40’s Prosperity goal, while also supporting the other four goals.
HOW PROGRAM MEETS GOALS
PROGRAM IMPORTANCE IN EACH FUTURE SCENARIOS