Heath Street station in September 2012
|Location||South Huntington Avenue at Heath Street|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Tracks||2 (on a balloon loop)|
|Connections||MBTA Bus: 14, 39, 192|
|Rebuilt||January 13, 2003|
|Passengers (2011)||820 (weekday average boardings)|
Heath Street (announced as Heath Street/VA Medical Center) is an MBTA transit station in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the terminus of the Green Line "E" Branch. It is located at the intersection of South Huntington Avenue and Heath Street on the border between the Mission Hill and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. The station is accessible when served by the MBTA's newer low-floor trolley cars and buses.
Heath Street station was built as a turnback for the Arborway Line in 1945. The new PCC streetcars needed a loop to turn around, so the existing crossover at Francis Street could not be used. Until 1961, service on Huntington Avenue consisted of a Heath Street–North Station line and a Arborway–Park Street line. The Heath Street line was discontinued on September 11, 1961. Peak-hour service to the loop resumed on December 26, 1964; for a period in 1966, every other train on Huntington Avenue short-turned at the loop. Heath Street was the terminus of all weekday service (except nights) for three periods in 1977-78 due to streetcar shortages and track work.
In 1972, the MBTA began planning a reconstruction of the median-running section of the line, then scheduled for 1973-74. The work, including track replacement at the loop, eventually began in 1980 when the line was closed to modify the track and wires for the new LRVs. The line was cut back to Symphony on March 21, 1980; it was re-extended to Northeastern (using LRVs) on June 21 and Brigham Circle on September 20, but Heath Street and Arborway service did not resume until June 26, 1982. Heath Street short turns were cut on February 11, 1983 when a snowstorm closed the line, and did not resume when it reopened.
On September 8, 1984, short turns using LRVs were extended to Heath Street. On December 28, 1985, the entire Arborway line was cut for repairs to the Huntington Avenue Subway. Service to Brigham Circle resumed on July 26, 1986, and to Heath Street on November 4, 1989; Arborway service was controversially never resumed. Around this time, a circular concrete shelter/crew base was built inside the loop.
In the early 2000s, the MBTA modified key surface stops with raised platforms for accessibility as part of the Light Rail Accessibility Program. Portable lifts were installed at Heath Street around 2000 as a temporary measure. The platform modifications - part of a $32 million modification of thirteen B, C, and E branch stations - was completed on January 13, 2003.
As part of a series of service reductions due to a budget crisis, on July 1, 2012 the MBTA began terminating weekend service at Brigham Circle. The cutback was unpopular with local residents, who considered it an unnecessary inconvenience. On October 13, 2012, the cut was quietly reversed by reducing frequency on the branch slightly, thus allowing the same equipment to cover the full line at no additional cost. This was made official with the December 29, 2012 timetable.
- "MBTA Short Notes" (PDF). TRANSreport. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. February 2003. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2011.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
- Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
- "Surface Lines Report". Rollsign. Vol. 9 no. 8/9. Boston Street Railway Association. August–September 1972 – via Tremont Street Subway NHL documentation.CS1 maint: date format (link)
- "Executive Summary" (PDF). Program of Mass Transportation. Boston Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. January 2004. p. 2-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2012.
- "Subway Map" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 1, 2001.
- Fox, Jeremy (30 June 2012). "Loss of weekend E train service worries riders". Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Rocheleau, Matt (28 December 2012). "MBTA reinstates weekend trolley service for entire E branch of the Green Line". Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
Media related to Heath Street station at Wikimedia Commons