Red Line Renewal

Ben Bliss

The Red Line is the transportation of choice for many at BC High, and as these students know, Boston’s transit system is far from perfect. With regular delays, outdated trains, and lack of seating, there is plenty of room for improvements. Thankfully, the oldest subway in America is due for a major transformation in the next few years. As part of a 5-year, $8 billion program started in 2018, the T seeks to attain “faster, more comfortable trips on the Red Line, as well as less crowding on platforms and in stations” as stated on the official MBTA website. To reach these standards, 218 brand new vehicles will replace the current fleet, and 34 more cars will be introduced on top of that. Between the spacious design and extra trains, an additional 65,000 people are projected to ride per day. As one can imagine, this will have a significant impact on the daily commute. There will be plenty of seats for everyone and riders will be dispersed more frequently, causing a lower concentration of people at platforms and in the trains. Besides having more room, the modernized cars will contain features such as wider doors, more handrails, and a revised digital signaling system that will provide faster communications and reduce maintenance. In turn, it will limit delays and keep trains on schedule. Also promised are LED lighting systems, more comfortable seats, visual door open/close warnings, and a change of audio from announcements like, “JFK/UMASS, doors open on the left. Change here for the Ashmont line.” Although, the renewed sound bytes will probably get stuck in your head just as quickly as their predecessors. These trains are set to be finished by 2023 since assembly began last fall. Unfortunately, that means only current freshmen and future Eagles will have the privilege of riding the upgraded rails, but hopefully the wait is worthwhile. In the meantime, the commuters of BC High will just have to sit tight — literally and metaphorically.