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MBTA reinstates weekend trolley service for entire E branch of the Green Line

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 28, 2012 03:25 PM

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The MBTA has permanently reinstated weekend trolley service for the entire E branch of the Green Line, officials at the agency announced Friday.

On July 1, the T stopped running Saturday and Sunday service between the E branch’s five westernmost stops: Fenwood Road, Mission Park, Riverway, Back of the Hill and Heath Street stations. Trolleys served Brigham Circle Station and others stops to the east.

The move was implemented, along with other service cuts and fare increases across the system, to balance the agency’s annual budget.

But in October, the T quietly resumed weekend trolley service for the entire length of the E line, according to agency spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Service has been extended to the entire branch without adding more trolleys or more trolley drivers, he said. Thus, T officials said the agency has incurred no additional costs.

“In other words, the E branch weekend service is not quite as frequent, but it does go all the way to Heath Street,” Pesaturo said in an e-mail.

It was an experiment at first, he said.

T staff wanted to test if the trains would get too crowded if trolleys rolled past Brigham Circle Station on weekends, he said.

“Customers seemed to respond favorably to the change, and the decision was made [this month] to make it permanent,” Pesaturo said in an e-mail.

The stretch of E branch tracks west of Brigham Circle shares the road with vehicular traffic. The tracks run for about three-fifths of a mile down the center of Huntington Avenue through Mission Hill before bending onto South Huntington Avenue near where that neighborhood meets with Jamaica Plain.

The MBTA’s Route 39 bus also runs that same path.

Shortly before the T implemented its plan to stop running trolleys to the E branch’s five last stops, residents and business owners in that area of Boston told the Globe that the service cut would not be a disaster, but would be an inconvenience.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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