Trolley study results to be discussed at three public meetings

Presidential Committee Cars pictured at Mattapan Square station in January. Yukun Zhang photo

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the MBTA announced today that they will be holding three public meetings in Mattapan, Milton, and Dorchester in the coming weeks to discuss the results of the Mattapan Trolley Line Study.

The Mattapan meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the ABCD Family Service Center at 535 River Street; the Milton meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Milton Council of Aging at 10 Walnut Street; and the Dorchester meeting will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Lower Mills Branch Public Library at 27 Richmond Street.

At each meeting, MassDOT and MBTA representatives will present the results of the study and solicit feedback from members of the public.

The results of the trolley study, which was commissioned by the T in 2017, were presented to the Fiscal and Management Control Board in late January. They expressed doubt about the viability of the orange-colored Presidential Conference Committee (PCC) trolley cars, noting that the vehicles “are over 70 years old and are approaching a point where further maintenance action and operation becomes impractical.”

Regarding the next course of action, the T presented six alternative options to the board, including one scenario that would replace the aging trolley system with a bus line and another that would replace the PCC vehicles with brand new trolley cars. However, noting the public’s strong opposition to a bus line and the cost-prohibitive nature of other options, the presentation ultimately framed the option of phasing in recently built “Type 9” cars--currently being introduced on the Green Line--for the PCC cars over the next 10 years as the preferred course of action.

An official vote on the subject will take place following the series of public meetings.