A brief Google maps overlay with the MBTA maps reveals that the 6th Suffolk General Court district currently has no T or commuter rail stops in the district. Public transportation is served solely by bus.
The MBTA's Fairmount Commuter Rail Line passes through some of the most
densely populated neighborhoods in the region, yet residents seldom use
the line for travel. Instead, Fairmount corridor residents tend to use
private automobiles and the overcrowded bus and rapid transit network
to travel to downtown Boston.
That will change–somewhat–in 2011. Four new commuter rail stations along the corridor are scheduled to open then. Two of the stations, one at Mattapan Square and one at the corner of Cummins Highway and Blue Hill Ave, are located just outside of the district.
Not only will this open the area up to easier access to downtown Boston, but local community groups are eyeing the project for community development projects as well. From a recent Boston Globe article:
building at Four Corners, a closed garage on Talbot Avenue, and a
long-vacant car dealership on Cummins Highway would seem to be unlikely
candidates for redevelopment. But the properties, in Dorchester and
Mattapan, have an unusual feature that makes them valuable right now:
They are near the locations of planned stations on the Fairmount
commuter rail line, which the Massachusetts Bay Transportation
Authority has put on the fast track for improvements.
Developers, mostly community organizations, have bought or are
planning to buy and rebuild as many as a dozen properties along the
9.2-mile rail corridor. The projects typically involve apartments or
condominiums, some with a retail component, and are designed to take
advantage of their proximity to transportation into downtown Boston.
"Up and down the Fairmount Line we are making sure we have an urban
village around each stop," said Jeanne DuBois, executive director of
the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.
Civic groups and community organizations are taking community redevelopment into their own hands. In the current economic climate when real estate development dollars are difficult to obtain and rents are even more difficult to keep coming in month after month, it will be interesting to see if these development plans by community groups are truly sustainable. The economic vitality of the community depends on it.