MassDOT holds second virtual meeting on MBTA Silver Line expansion analysis

Bus on Downtown Crossing
Downtown Crossing, Boston, MA, USA. Photo by Aaron Doucett via Unsplash.

By Daniel Multz
Boston University News Service

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) detailed six proposed Silver Line extensions during a virtual meeting this week, as the MBTA continues to explore expanding the bus rapid transit system.

On Tuesday, officials detailed how the lines would reach out to Everett, Malden, Chelsea and other nearby suburbs. Said lines would provide links to existing rapid transit service, and would be the focal points of the study over the coming months.

“This meeting is really the start of the next phase of this process, and serves as the kickoff of a lot more public outreach that we are going to be doing as we finalize our alternatives,” said Doug Johnson, a MassDOT project manager. “Our goals and objectives also have to be consistent with the goals and visions laid out by each community within our study area, as well as the missions of MassDOT and the MBTA.”

Officials representing the city of Everett expressed their support for the expansion at the meeting. 

“There are few things more pressing in our community right now than the need for reliable rapid transit. We are less than three miles from all of the largest employment districts in the Boston region, yet we have not a single rapid transit stop within our city boundaries,” said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve a little bit here and plan ahead to make sure we provide adequate priority for future Silver Line [service],” added Everett Director of Transportation Jay Monty.

Along with city officials, residents of Boston and surrounding suburbs also brought up questions and comments at the meeting. 

“I see that the line isn’t going to my neighborhood, but I am seeing that it is serving what was called out as an “underserved area” for transit that is in the Glendale area,” said William Horka, a resident of Malden.

“I like that idea of connecting the Orange Line to the Silver Line, and also the idea that was expressed of maybe connecting it on both the North and the South Ends,” he said. 

The next virtual meeting on Silver Line expansion analysis will take place some time in the winter of 2022, with a final report expected in the spring.

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