Crazy Transit Pitches

Fixed a couple issues you guys noticed, and a few I noticed (like the concourse to connect Park and Washington...)


On Google Maps.

I also added the K line from Sullivan to Dudley. A short tunnel from Audubon Circle to the south side of Brookline Ave, with a portal on Emmanuels lawn. From there there is enough room between The Fenway and Emmanuel/Symmons buildings for a light rail ROW. Then it would street run on Louis Prang St before running on the north side of Ruggles St in the wonderful space Northeastern left in front of West Village that is just wide enough for a trolley ROW. From there it would run through the Ruggles busway and head down Melnea Cass, which would be rebuilt with a trolley reservation on one side.
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I don't see the appeal of trying to develop Hanscom as a supplementary airport to Logan.

Logan already has two supplementary airports, both of which are tragically underutilized and one of which is the closest intercity rail/air link in the country today. Right now Amtrak trains on today's tracks in today's environment manage Providence to Boston in 45 minutes and the commuter rail does it in an hour, which effectively means that today's rail services are already competitive with the max build, full-fat, transit-enabled Hanscom of 40 years from now if everything goes right. Never mind the speed increases that are coming to the Northeast Corridor anyway, and to say nothing of the one-hour trip potential for an express train to MHT in the future. (At worst, the NH corridor services will be exactly as slow as a Red Line train to Hanscom would have been. They will very likely be faster than the Red Line to Hanscom might have been.)

EWR and BWI to the south of us should be looked to as guiding examples as we move into the future. We should ask ourselves what works well and how do we replicate it, what works poorly and how do we avoid it? If handled properly, Boston's three airports are a tremendous asset on par with the three airports each for New York and Washington DC, and the best part is that the recipe for success in both Rhode Island and New Hampshire doesn't depend solely upon the airport to succeed. There's every reason in the world to focus on investment there - Hanscom is, at best, a distraction.
Yeah, I plan to do a CR map that illustrates all the DMU lines, and would imagine it placed in all the stations next to the transit map. (Ideally there would also be a SEPARATE key routes bus map as well).

It's your map, of course. I think that if the trains are running 4X per hour, that's enough to warrant at least a LRT-width line, or maybe just a doubling of your existing CR line to indicate that the train you're catching at Riverside won't take you to Worcester, or that the Fairmount trains don't go to Providence... Don't assume they're putting 3 maps next to each other, either. A lot of people would be reading the map on the train itself and they have the smallest friggin' maps I've ever seen on there as it is.

My thought process was to base the color system off of what trunk they use. B/C through the Boylston subway, D/E/F through the Huntington subway, A/G through the transitway, 1/2 through Mass Ave and 3/4 through downtown.

I realized after I wrote my comment that you had obviously just trimmed down your other map which had way more LRT lines on it, and that explained the 3-color scheme. Personally, I still think that the D from Riverside to College Ave. will be an independent enough routing and ROW type to divorce it entirely from the other 3 branches, but the trunk argument is a good one as well (NY's strategy), so I'll settle for shades of green. I'm still not convinced someone with bad eyesight can tell the olive from the background, but I think it looks nice. All of it is better than the T's plan anyhow.

Agree x1000. As for the livery scheme, if the map were to use different colors for LRT, I would like to see the classic "creamsicle" scheme the Mattapan PCCs use revived for the entire fleet. The emerald green paintjob isn't bad, but the traction orange and creme is drop dead gorgeous. (In a similar vein, the commuter rail should go with the maroon instead of the godawful fuchsia they use now.

I'm not sure you'd get away with creamsicle as long as there's an orange line, although maybe you could sell it if you painted it up with enough unique features or made most of it cream. Besides, if all your colors are going to be shades of green the trains really should be as well. Maybe you could do cream on top but charcoal gray on the bottom with emerald, olive and teal bands to signify the 3 line colors, or something.

The 5 going from West Roxbury to Norwood would not use the old railroad ROW, as it has been almost entirely obliterated. Instead, it would run in a short subway beneeth Belle Ave, before portaling and running as an el or open cut along the east side of the VFW parkway. There is a wide buffer between the highway and the parking lots there, so this wouldn't be an issue at all.

I know people in Bedford don't like the idea of Hanscom being used as a real airport, but it's either that or Norwood as a Logan alternate, and Hanscom has more expansion room.

The most important thing I tried to do with my extensions and routings was not just get people into and around Boston, but also into and around the satellite cities. This is why Waltham, Lynn, Watertown, Dedham, and to a lesser extent Quincy all have redundant service.

I like the concept, but while I believe in bucking up older satellite cities (which is why I love your Salem LRT idea) I don't really like the "Field of Dreams" TOD-fishing. I like the character of Boston's suburban towns, and the fact that our suburbs don't form an endless mesh of sameness is what makes Boston stand out among American cities in a very good way. TOD sprawl isn't that much different from suburban sprawl, IMO. Then again, when you're making a map for $100 billion worth of transit extensions, you are allowed to assume whatever urban theory you want :).

Also, while I support OL or RL to Dedham and had wondered myself about that OL concept before, I don't think it really belongs on the satellite cities list. Its a town of 25,000 with a pretty small center.

Also, Hanscom's role as a reliever to Logan is already in progress and quite critical: General Aviation. Logan is the only air carrier airport Boston needs. It's centrally-located, quite accessible, and has plenty of both airside and landside capacity. If it ever needs more gates, they have a few places left to build them. GA, on the other hand, would clog up Logan much quicker than airlines due to spacing requirements and won't bother the neighbors as much. Let the prop planes take Hanscom.

As for the names, I can't stand the modern renamings, they are all sterile and devoid of sense of place and community ties. Downtown Crossing, Silver Line Way, Science Park? Ugh. With all my station names, I used old maps. So if there was a historic rail station, it got that name. Otherwise it is named after the neighborhood or a nearby feature (hence so many hills, parks, and cemetery station names). I wanted to rename "Hynes" back to "Massachusetts" as well (since the Symphony name would be extended to the Mass Ave OL station once connected), but it didn't fit. Likewise, I can't decide on either "Hatch Shell" or "Beacon Hill". I also prefer "Black Falcon Terminal" as the A/G terminal, but it looks too long on the map. I'm not sold on "Marine Park", but I hate Design Center, and want it to hint that the Cruise Ship terminal is there.

Well, I think the ship has sailed on Scollay Square. That square doesn't exist anymore and really won't ever exist again even if they were to carve up CHP as they so obviously should. A whole generation or three has never heard of it. In any case, GC actually took over 2 stops, so you could equally have called it "Adams" :). Downtown Crossing actually is a geographic name describing the neighborhood, though it was a rename. "Massachusetts" would create awkwardness due to the OL stop of the same name (and the GJ stop if you're on the crazy map) and that's annoying when they do it in Chicago. SLW, Science Park and Design Center? Dump 'em.

One more thing: You aren't constraining yourself by constructibility, but everyone on AB (including me) has overlooked this at some point - the ROW at Brookline Village can't fit a wye. You could drop the line underground and preempt the Longwood/Fenway stretch, and you might be able to do as F-Line suggests and swing that segment back down Huntington to merge in a tunnel, but you can't do a branch to both Huntington and Fenway from the west without taking houses. You MIGHT be able to do it by taking all of Pearl St. and using that to ramp down, but it would be pretty tight and killed dead by the neighbors.
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Loving that line going through Danvers to Marblehead, although I think a branch going to the North Shore Mall / Lahey Clinic would be more likely than to Danvers proper. Restored service via Wakefield on the CR is also really cool.

Love the map, can only imagine the possibilities if it ever became a reality someday.
It's almost too much of a tease to think what kind of growth Boston could see with a set up like this, and how much easier it would be for people to live car free.

I like the red line branch cutting through Hynes, I'm a big proponent for density and height along the high line, and I think this would promote/service it nicely.
Your system is pretty gnarly. This must be built!

I wonder how long it would take to do all of it or how much it would cost. Opening up the suburbs this way would put Boston on par with NYC in a lot of ways.

Tens of billions of dollars and over a century.

Also, I noticed that you have plans for Hanscom Field as a supplemental airport to Logan. HRT directly to it would make that a successful spot for airlines and a top choice for them to do their business there.

The local communities would lobby DoD to shutter Hanscom themselves before they allowed it to become a higher trafficked airport.

If only the old timers would change their mentality about commuting into the city in their cars and help get things like this off the ground or at least seriously considered, our regions economy would be so much stronger and help those that can't afford to live in the city to access it in a way that's just as good as living in the Boston proper.

This would be great.

Tis quite the dream indeed.
Thanks for all the feedback! My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy and all I get from her is "that's nice".

I get similar feedback from my boyfriend haha. His line tends to be "and you aren't getting paid for this, right?"

I might do a "slightly less crazy" version, or a few maps showing phased extensions. But for this one, I decided since I was doing so much work I would take it as far as the system could handle, although I did limit myself to existing ROWs for the most part. The only things I deemed completely insane were a Harvard Ave subway (less important with all the E-W service) and extending the 8 past Harvard to Union Square through Inman Square. As for what I deemed crazy but not insane:

Hah, I guess my insane line is drawn a little lower down. :)

-Bringing the 7 north past Waltham to 128 is an old idea of Vans I read years ago on his site and made a ton of sense, as there is a boatload of land right there that could be redeveloped.

And a boatload of happy, quiet suburbanites.

-An Everett Subway under Broadway is a major undertaking, but opens up an entire quadrant of the area previously inaccessible by transit and would be a boon for the region. It doesn't hurt it smacks into the Saugus branch where it becomes useful and they are building a bunch of new development either.

I want to better connect Everett too, and my maps have toyed with a surface line up Broadway before, but I decided it would be too tough to dispatch and too congested. A subway would solve those problems, but would also be a 2.3 mile subway. $$$ + NIMBY = Everett will be pleased to keep the bus.

-The 5 going from West Roxbury to Norwood would not use the old railroad ROW, as it has been almost entirely obliterated. Instead, it would run in a short subway beneeth Belle Ave, before portaling and running as an el or open cut along the east side of the VFW parkway. There is a wide buffer between the highway and the parking lots there, so this wouldn't be an issue at all. Through Dedham Center it would run underground as a subway, before emerging again to run as an el/open cut alongside route 1 to 95, where it would pick up the railroad ROW again.

Cut-and-cover a quiet residential road? Man, dat's craaazy ;)
Also, that's a lot of portaling. $$$... I've toyed with an El along the highway north from Dedham Center off of the old Dedham Line ROW to the Dedham Mall, but more subway portals you build the more and more expensive this gets.

-The F past Mattapan to the end of the Blue Hills Parkway is a concession for removing all but one Milton stop on the old high speed line. There is a wide median there. Running the F continously from North Station to Milton means burying the line as a subway all the way to Dudley. I think this should be done anyway. If not made a subway, then the line would have to be split, requiring a transfer at Dudley to continue into town. That median down Blue Hill Ave is just two damned tempting as a light rail line to not use it.

It is tempting. It was hard for me to trim my F-Line back, and I still kept it to Franklin Park (admittedly, barely on BHA at all). F-Line to Dudley (where'd he go anyway?) convinced me that a surface line streetcar line from the Pike trench to Mattapan would be too long to effectively dispatch, even in a central reservation with signal priority. Also it's clear that with an extended Red Line and the Indigo Line, stretching the Green Line to Mattapan too is redundant.
I wouldn't sweat the Milton stops. The ridership just isn't there in Milton. It's barely there for the stops on the Mattapan Line now.

-The C to Rumford (north Woburn) may be a bit crazy, but if you are extending the green line all the way out there, it makes a lot more sense to run via the old Woburn Branch instead of the current route of the CR, which goes between population centers instead of through them.

You just need frequent bus service down Montvale Ave. Contrary to my ill-begotten handle, in the 'burbs busses are huge part in extending the rail network. You're not going to get to hit every provincial New England town center. Practically and politically it ain't gonna fly.

It's mostly intact to Woburn Center, the two stops beyond that are far more dicey since that half was abandoned much earlier. It would be more realistic to end it in Woburn Center, but again, this is the furthest I think the system could go.

You would have to go subway in Woburn Center.

-D to Stoneham for the same reasons as above, and that ROW is largely intact. I also like ending my branches at individual terminals instead of just a station along the line. Stoneham, like Woburn, has a lot of parking lots that could be developed, and the line nicely hits almost every one of them.

It would be really tricky north of Montvale Ave. Probably subway'd in the middle of residential neighborhoods. Also: Where do the LRVs turn around?

I've accepted realignment of my Lowell Line RT route (on my map it's Red) to Anderson. Make Anderson a super station with Amtrak, MBCR, NHDOT, and MBTA rapid transit. Give it plenty of RTA bus connections, a big park and ride for I-93, and plenty of land open for housing and commercial development around the station.

-the 5 to Medford is hard, but not impossible. The ROW is "intact" as far as 93 for cut and cover. Intact meaning only one house, but everyones backyards and garages would have to be demolished and rebuilt. Then you just have to tunnel under 93 and build a terminal under Riverside Ave. Medford will get transit access at Medford Hillside, but it requires walking almost a half mile and across RT16. While this would be expensive, it would open up Medford Center for more development, and the area of industrial properties around RT28. Even if going all the way to Medford is infeasable, Wellington is a godawful station in a terrible place. Just building a one station spur to Edgeworth at RT28 (where there are still tracks on the ROW) would be a large improvement for neighborhood access and TOD development.

I begrudgingly cut this out of mine. You're just not going to get to blow up people's backyards. You would have to go deep underground before the ROW is encroached upon, doable but oh-so expensive. Medford Square deserves better transit, but it may be more worth it for them to get some better bus connection coverage out of the Medford Hillside extension. Some busses from Medford Square can ping between Davis, Hillside and Wellington.

-The H to Marblehead is a stretch, more because its Marblehead than anything else. Salem State is a far more likely terminal. I do think running a trolley out to Danvers State (Hathorne) would be good, as there is a MASSIVE amount of underused land along the route, and it also gets transit access to Danvers and Peabody, which are difficult to serve on their own but could really use it. For maintenance, the H trolleys could run down the Blue Line to Lynn, since the blue line thankfully uses the same overhead catenary. A small yard could be built in Peabody on one of the other two ROWs I didn't use for storage.

Cool concept to have a stand alone LRV line for the North Shore. I agree that Marblehead is a nonstarter.

-8 via Tobin Bridge is also a stretch, but not impossible. It looks like some reworking of the structural supports of the tobin would allow rail to be built within the current structure as long as the loads work out. Otherwise it could be built after the Tobins useful life is up, and route 1 gets rerouted via the eastern route through Everett and connects south of Assembly. Before that it could connect using the abandoned east boston branch from Airport to Revere Center.

Is that a real plan for Route 1, or a fantasy map Route 1? Like elevated over the Eastern Route? Were's the East Boston Branch ROW? I've scoured Revere Center and can't find anything that looks like an unmolested ROW.

-1 to Hanscom instead of Bedford is pretty easy, there is a manure farm or something (landscaping company?) that would make a perfect park and ride, and the rest of the way to the airport would be an el runing along the side of Hartwell Ave/Barksdale St, which runs directly to the front of the civillian terminal.

Parts of Hartwell/Barksdale through Hanscome run through the AFB. Behind the gates. The air force won't let mass transit through that way.

I tend to route the Red Line northeast to the Burlington Mall along the utility ROW, rather than going to Bedford or Hanscom. Hanscom can shuttle busses to the 128 Park and Ride for commercial flyers. But I don't believe that Hanscom is ever going to become significantly higher traffic than it is now.

This would give the Boston region TWO airports directly on the transit lines. I know people in Bedford don't like the idea of Hanscom being used as a real airport, but it's either that or Norwood as a Logan alternate, and Hanscom has more expansion room.

Will never happen. The combined might of Bedford, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord will see to that.

-I did NOT reactivate the original A through Brighton, instead supplementing it with the blue line, reopening the Faneuil and Newton Corner CR stations, and having the teal line ending in Watertown. This was more a pretty lines decision than anything else, I might play with restoring it from Oak Square to Kenmore.

Hah! A-Line reactivation is one of the more reasonable ideas for the MBTA :p

I do think that you need to bring it to Watertown Yard though. There's not a lot of room for any train storage at Oak Square, unless you coopt the park in the middle. Which would not go over.

The most important thing I tried to do with my extensions and routings was not just get people into and around Boston, but also into and around the satellite cities. This is why Waltham, Lynn, Watertown, Dedham, and to a lesser extent Quincy all have redundant service. (Quincy is developed pretty lineally along the red line, and also has very few other options for more transit lines). The only other ROW through there I'm aware of was taken over by 93, and there's little TOD potential along it anyway.)

Unless all those communities are ready to develop to much larger degree than they ever have before, any redundant service will be a tough sell.

Lynn has the 7, which is local service not useful for getting to Boston, but very useful for getting around Revere. the 8 is express service to get into Boston, and also connects Lynn to Salem.

I'd just give the Salem - Lynn - Boston Express Riders a 'MU service.

Same thing with Waltham, it gets redundant service with both blue and red running through it, not just to it.

Through it to where? Piety Corner? Not all vacant areas in these towns will be open for development.

The gold line would be torture to ride all the way into Boston, but is very good for getting around, and opens up some vacant areas to development. The A to watertown is useless for getting downtown, but very good for getting to Cambridge and around Watertown itself. This is also why I extended service to Randolph and Norwood. I think these satellites are going to be very important places to house people and business if the metro area continues to expand, and getting them service should be of utmost importance.

Neither of them would be that torturous if you chopped some stops. I wouldn't treat them like street-car stops after a certain point. They have their own ROWs, they can have half the number of stops you assign to them. Your A Line for example - slash Beechwood, Grove, Strawberry Hill and Cambridge Highlands. Now it's no less reasonable than the D, which the ROW is more akin to.

This does get to one of the problems with far-flung RT extensions in MetroBoston: We don't have express tunnels. I would say that you have waay too many stops on the Arlington-Lexington extension of the Red Line. For one, the ridership isn't there. For another, the NIMBYs will slaughter you if your stops aren't placed very deliberately, with specific bus connections in mind. Lexington isn't going to go on a development spree in sensitive wetlands because you want to put a Red Line stop at Pierces Bridge. For yet another, the trip from Hanscom to Park Street would be painful in a Red Line car with that many stops along the way, and no way to skip stations. Stops should be culled on the outer lines. Mystic Lake for example serves no one, and will never serve anyone. Wedgemere should probably get slashed in favor of better bus connections to Winchester, in the interest of speeding the line. Express riders should be served by the Commuter Rail (which wouldn't overlap with RT stations at all - except at the RT's terminal) and inner service 'MUs along the CR routes that don't have duplicate RT coverage. We definitely don't want our Red, Orange and Blue lines to be bogged down in Lexington, Dedham and Swampscott when the demand for them is much higher in Cambridge, Dorchester, JP and downtown.

On some other things:

I know the Mass Ave subway has been discussed to death, and I won't beat the "can't do it" drum too hard, but sufficed to say, I don't see it happening. I don't the engineering working. I still love the concept. But I've resigned it to the dustbin.

Still not really clear on your routing of Blue through Allston and Watertown. Under Lincoln Street to Birmingham Pkway under the Charles to N Beacon? How do you thread it through the Arsenal Center to meet your A Line? Do you tunnel through West Watertown? Seems like a stretch to me.

What's your K routing to Dudley? NVM found it. Tricksy.

Red to Randolph is another one I've given up, though I still love the idea.

I don't think Blue through Point of Pines works. The ROW is built upon. You'd have to cut up to the Eastern Route after Oak Island.

Also not sure the Blue line can go straight under Charles/MGH. The Longfellow's footings run deep. It would have to go back up Cambridge St, lowering it's usefulness.

Shouldn't the Fitchburg Line hug the Red2 line at Belmont? (RT through Belmont is one insane idea I've also refused to give up...)

The Milford CR line is donezo I think. The state killed the ROW. Might be able to get to Milford from Franklin Line though.
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So this could be totally funded from private investment if only the will to do so existed?

Sure, you could say that about anything really. If only the will existed, private investment could send man to Mars. If only the will existed, private investment could feed every human on Earth. If only the will existed, private investment could provide everyone with a sound retirement.

Engineering difficulties are another story. Property rights are another story. The public process is another story. Politics is another story.
I added the DMU/EMU line today. Indigo line sounds pretty dumb so I'd like to label it as something else. The Line that goes to N. Station I guess would make sense to share the yard that's at Riverside.


Also I have extended the F Line to Franklin Park. That area should get better connectivity.
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I always enjoy these fantasy maps, it's like MBTA porn... One prominent thing I notice, though, is that Southie always gets left out other than the Seaport. Most of the maps' distortion features shrink the peninsula of Southie proper so it looks like a much smaller area. In fact, Southie is a major neighborhood with no subway other than the Red, which is obviously at the egde of it. I would envision a subway under Broadway running to City Point to increase accessibility to the end of the Emerald Necklace. In fantasy land, you could run it out to City Point and then under the Day and Columbia to Franklin Park. A better plan would likely be to run it west into Boston Medical, Dudley and Longwood and north along whatever ROW the dumb urban ring (still fixated on the 695 route) might end up taking... ideally two lines, one through Allston - Lower Allston - Beacon Yards - Harvard and the other through MIT, Central, Inman and Union.

There's obviously a lot of need for new transit and everyone has their own opinions and fantasy plans, but I think one thing that really is unrealistic and a total waste of money is restoring the E line.... Centre Street is close enough to the Orange, and it has some of the worst traffic around - and we all know that building a subway doesn't magically make traffic just disappear. One thing Boston really should do is prioritize making Franklin Park a top destination and exemplary park. The park itself needs a lot of work, but in conjunction with the Casey project there could be a restoration of the former gateway by Forest Hills on the one side, and some investment and rezoning of the main entrance by Columbia and Blue Hill on the other. What better way to anchor all that than with a subway to Franklin Park? I think extending it any further south is really unrealistic given how barren Blue Hill gets south of there, but digging a line via Dudley to Franklin Park would be somewhat justifiable.

I dont know how you guys make your maps, but my more modest fantasy for MBTA 2040 would be:
- a Washington/Warren subway to Franklin Park
- a subway under Broadway to City Point (potentially, could have a 2 forked urban ring running S Station - Seaport - City Point - under Broadway to either A) Broadway -> NEMC ->Washington St outbound or B) to Andrew - BUMC - Dudley - Franklin Park; either way there could be the fork south to Dudley/Franklin and one heading north to Ruggles/LMA/Allston-Harvard and MIT/Central)
- regardless, a new subway servicing Longwood, however it's configured
- a subway to Chelsea
- Blue Line to Lynn
- ideally, subway service to Allston and Lower Allston
- Orange Line to Needham and Hyde Park
- Green Line to Needham

Even that's an insane amount of new construction, but the absolute top priorities should be Lynn, Chelsea, Dudley and Longwood, with Southie a very close second and Orange Line extensions coming in third...
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South Boston is difficult to serve geographically because it's not "on the way" to somewhere else.

Restoration of the streetcar service would probably be the most sensible thing but, South Boston is the land where parking is valued more than human life.

Until that attitude changes, forget it.
^ Yup. My map includes some streetcar lines through Southie out of the Seaport and out of Dudley. Practically speaking though it's a tough nut to crack. The parking war culture over there runs deep.
It is indeed, but if that neighborhood is changing rapidly - though I doubt the yuppies will be any more progressive than the old guard about giving up parking. Still, I wish the city and the T could just hit the rest button, forget pricetags and 1940s plans for a moment and just look at all the nodes around town that need transit and aim big. It makes me sad, since I know if some sort of urban ring ever actually gets built it'll end up being a sub-par halfassed job. But I like that Seaport to Dudley via Southie plan, regardless of how realistic it is - it could be a Park Line, connect two of the best Emerald Necklace parks.
Bring SL light rail down Summer Street to East First and put a terminus there opposite Murphy's Law. Ridership won't be huge at first... but I have no doubt that it would be an actual carrot dangling in their faces that would change the parking dynamics and eventually allow an extension down to Broadway, a streetcar spine bisecting residential Southie.
^ That's how it would have to be done; brought to the periphery of the neighborhood and dangled like a carrot as you said. It would be a long process of cultural shift.

For what it's worth, this is how my Southie lines appear on my fantasy map:


The stubs to City Point and Carson Beach are the less useful, and would probably screw up the dispatch of the street-running trolleys. The core Summer Street to Broadway to Dorchester St between the current Silver Line Way and Andrew Square is my favorite option.
^ That's how it would have to be done; brought to the periphery of the neighborhood and dangled like a carrot as you said. It would be a long process of cultural shift.

For what it's worth, this is how my Southie lines appear on my fantasy map:


The stubs to City Point and Carson Beach are the less useful, and would probably screw up the dispatch of the street-running trolleys. The core Summer Street to Broadway to Dorchester St between the current Silver Line Way and Andrew Square is my favorite option.

I didn't include it on my map, but I've got a silver line branch on my google maps version doing basically the same thing, running all the way to Dudley.
Putting aside crazy for a moment, what I anticipate is further "TOD" around Broadway and Andrew stations, and hopefully using that as a base for better service deeper into Southie.

The 9 bus would be one of the low hanging fruits. Eventually it should become a "key" route and be upgraded with better frequency and bus stops. Arguably that should already happen. The MBTA needs to start adding more service hours first though: right now they just redistribute service hours from a fixed pool, and existing key buses like the 66 are suffering for it.
Here's my idea for a totally non-street running, mostly surface line to South Boston, except for using the existing Silver Line tunnel.

The two-track line would begin at the west end at a surface stop at the Back Bay Station (or an optional tunnel connector to the E Line), then continue as a surface line alongside Cortes Street and Marginal Road on the north side of the Turnpike, with some loss of street parking on marginal Road. Then bridge over the Turnpike entrance from the SB Central Artery, and follow the existing service roads through the Pike/Central Artery interchange.

Then portal into the Silver Line Tunnel at the south end of Atlantic Ave. The Central Artery tunnel at that point appears to be just deep enough to allow a tunnel above it. Connect to the Silver Line tunnel, use it (along with the existing buses), and then bridge across I-90 where the Silver Line emerges in the S Boston waterfront. Continue on as a surface LRV line, with a bridge over the Reserve Channel to South Boston, completely off street and no loss of parking.


Here is the Google Maps link for more detail:,-71.071195&spn=0.002506,0.005284
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What if you didnt build that new bridge over the pike in the seaport and instead kept the surface line running north of 90, on a southeastern diagonal line that tunneled under the channel at the seaport's eastern tip? Then it could sort of curve as it hit City Point, ultimately then running back east right under Broadway? That way you get the north-south connection to downtown as well as better service along the route of the 9...