After years of planning, the Pleasant Street shuttle will begin serving residents and businesses on the westside corridor this fall and will go all the way to Harvard Square.
Watertown’s Fiscal Year 2022 Town Budget will include $96,000 to help fund the shuttle. The route will go through Watertown Square and will operate on a commuter schedule, with runs in the morning and late afternoon/early evening, said Watertown Transportation Planner Laura Wiener.
The general public will be able to use the shuttle for $1 a ride, and residents living in complexes which are members of the Watertown Transportation Management Agency will be able to ride for free. Wiener said passengers will be able to pay using a smartphone app or buy a punch ticket at Town Hall.
The route is still under development, but Wiener said they have a basic plan.
“Everything is preliminary, we are working on developing it and trying to find new partners as participants,” Wiener said.
The current plan is to start at Watertown Mews (across from Russo’s), stop at Watertown Mills — the mixed-use development at 330-350 Pleasant St., then go to Watertown Square before heading to the Red Line stop in Harvard Square.
“There will be one shuttle bus the first year. Eventually, we are hoping there will be two,” Wiener said. “There are still a lot of uncertainties, with how many people will be working full time, and we are trying to be flexible at this point.”
Each morning, the shuttle will make four round trips in the morning from about 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and four in the afternoon/evening, from approximately 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The shuttle ha seating for 32 passengers.
The Pleasant Street Shuttle will be the second in Watertown. The Arsenal Street Shuttle — also known as the Watertown Connector — has operated for a number of years. It is also run by the Watertown TMA, Wiener said, but it is not open to the general public and there are no plans to do so in the near future.
While the Town helps to fund the shuttle it is not the operator.
“The Town is part of the TMA so we do have a role, but the TMA is the decision maker,” Wiener said.
People living in the large apartment complexes on Arsenal Street, such as Elan and The Gables, can ride the Arsenal Street Shuttle, but the general public cannot use it.
“Elan and Gables are partners (in the TMA) and those developments are paying (for residents to ride the shuttle),” Wiener said.
There are two different types of routes for the Arsenal Street Shuttle: a Corporate Route and a Residential Route. The Corporate Shuttle makes 13 trips with stops at Linx, on either end of the Arsenal on the Charles, at Arsenal Yards, and then goes to Harvard Square. The Residential Shuttle, which stops at the Elan and The Gables apartment complex, makes six trips.