The MBTA was created as a way to subsidize a commuter rail system struggling to serve Metropolitan Boston, starting in 1964.
Previously, unsubsidized service had been provided by the Boston & Maine Railroad; the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad; and the New York Central.
Boston & Maine Railroad provided the Rockport, Lowell, and Fitchburg lines.
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad provided the Providence and Stoughton commuter lines.
New York Central provided the Worcester line.
On Oct. 8, 1974, the commuter lines adopted the color purple.
In 1987, Amtrak took over the MBTA contract to run the commuter rail system. In 2003, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company took over the contract from Amtrak.
Pictured: MBTA station in Framingham.
All historical information was gathered from the Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. and the Boston Globe.