For the past few years, Watertown officials have sought to start a shuttle service to serve Pleasant Street, which has no MTBA bus service. The Watertown Transportation Management Association (TMA) has applied for a grant from the State to start a shuttle.
The grant would be from the Mass. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Workforce Transportation Program, said Watertown’s Transportation Planner Laura Wiener.
The Town Council sent a letter in support of the TMA’s grant application.
“Funding support from the Workforce Transportation Program offers a real opportunity to get a shuttle off the ground. The Town, which is a member of the WTMA, is committed to providing a local match, in the form of funding and/or a vehicle,” the letter reads.
The Watertown TMA is working on starting a shuttle on Arsenal Street in conjunction with Athenahealth’s existing shuttle. However, the group would also like to start one on Pleasant Street using the grant.
“Pleasant Street is one of the corridors experiencing new growth. Over 800 units have been developed along Pleasant Street since 2005, with 200 more permitted or under construction,” the letter reads. “However, there is no MBTA service connecting those residents to jobs or services. Most residents use their cars to commute to work.”
The plan is to connect Pleasant Street with Watertown Square using the commuter shuttle, said Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon. There, residents could connect to the buses in Watertown Square (70/70A and 71), and the ones across the Charles River at the Watertown Yard (57 and the express buses).
When discussions of a shuttle began, the Pleasant Street corridor was targeted, but they did not have enough businesses or apartment complexes interested in joining and contributing to the funding, Magoon said. Currently there is just one development required in its special permit to contribute to a shuttle, but two more — the mixed use projects being built on Pleasant Street near Rosedale Road — have the requirement.
Wiener said there is also interest from the Currents on the Charles apartment complex in Waltham, just over the line, in being part of a shuttle.
State officials are considering the application, and are expected to respond by Thanksgiving, Wiener said.