STEP is a community group dedicated to improving transportation in Somerville, MA. We advocate for the Green Line extension, a more livable city, and public health issues.
December 12 is the first day of service of the Medford branch of the Green Line Extension. It’s been a long journey and Somerville is ready to celebrate. Here are upcoming events:
Monday, Dec 12
4:30 am: Meet the MBTA General Manager at the new Medford/Tufts station.
4:45 am: Ride the first train from the same station.
7-8 am: Celebrate with Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne (and live music) at the Ball Square station.
10 am: Ribbon cutting ceremony at the Medford/Tufts station, followed by a ceremony at Tufts Joyce Cummings Center (177 College Ave). Space is limited, masks encouraged.
Saturday, Dec 17
2-4 pm: Community celebration at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave), with a kid’s choo-choo train, live music, food, GLX oral history project, crafts, and more.
Hello MBTA BNR team,
We in Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP) greatly appreciate the improved proposed bus changes in Somerville in the second draft of the Bus Network Redesign. It’s obvious from the revisions to proposed routes in this draft that you all took the time to listen to and incorporate much of the community feedback on the first draft, and for that we thank you for your efforts.
Like many Somervillians, we are pleased to see additional bus connections to the forthcoming GLX stops, as well as reinstating the critical routes 87 and 89, the Medford and west Somerville portion of the 80 route, new (and one-seat) connections to Union Sq, new connections to appreciate how Somerville will benefit from the new high-frequency routes.
In noting the new connections to Assembly Square, we are glad to see how the new 85 route will also connect with the East Somerville and Union Sq GLX stops. It could potentially help some workers and residents travel in and out of the Assembly Square area, at least on weekdays. And for residents in Chelsea and Everett, the new 113 route opens up employment opportunities for them at Assembly Sq.
Although we are generally satisfied with the revised changes to bus service in the Somerville BNR map, we have a few comments/questions:
Thanks again for your hard, thoughtful work on the redesign of the bus network in Somerville.
Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP)
“We’re really pleased to be able to share this news,” [T General Manager Steve Poftak] told the MBTA Board of Directors, noting that T leadership has been “eagerly awaiting” the announcement for years.
Bus routes are going to change in Somerville (and beyond), and the MBTA shared an updated proposal of what that might look like. Since the initial proposal in May, they made lots of changes based on public input. But there’s still room for your input! Join their online meeting Nov 2.
Here’s the new proposal compared to the previous proposal and current conditions so you can see them all together.
Current bus routes:
There are many more details on the project website. What do you think of the changes?
It hasn’t been a good summer for the MBTA — and certainly not for its riders. The T announced two pieces of bad news:
Starting Aug 22, the Green Line will close between Government Center and Union Square for four weeks. They say the closure is necessary to complete the Medford branch work, as well as work on the Government Center Garage. Very disappointing. There will be shuttle buses offered.
Phase 2 of the Green Line Extension, originally supposed to open last December, then May, then late summer, is now planned for late November. Reasons include work and re-testing of the power systems and availability of Safety and Operational support crews. Also very disappointing.
View STEP’s comments on the big proposed changes to MBTA bus routes in Somerville.
We support the MBTA’s intent to modernize the bus network for the first time in many decades and its stated goal of creating a more equitable network with more frequent service, better connections, and more all-day service.
But we’re also disappointed with some aspects of this first BNR draft and encourage the BNR team to act on the concerns we’ve heard from Somerville’s residents, outlined below. STEP’s take is that Somerville residents and businesses lose more than we gain from this proposal.
Read the complete letter.