Shuttle Will Serve Pleasant Street Area Residents, Link to Harvard Square

Watertown TMAA shuttle will start serving Pleasant Street in Watertown in the fall of 2021. 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.

MBTA Extends Five-Day Pass, Proposes Change to Youth Pass

An MBTA bus in Watertown. The MBTA today announced updates to current fare pilots that include an extension of the Five-day Flex Pass on mTicket as well as upcoming fare change proposals that include improvements to the Youth Pass and converting all Outer Express Bus Routes to Inner Express Bus fares. These changes help to improve reduced fare programs and simplify complex fares for both customers and operations. “We’re pleased to temporarily extend the availability of the Five-day Flex Pass, which has been a popular fare option for our Commuter Rail riders as travel patterns have adjusted and evolved during the pandemic,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We’re also excited about our upcoming fare proposals that make improvements to the Youth Pass and Express Bus Route fares.

MBTA Holding Virtual Public Meetings on Changes to Purchase Fares

An MBTA bus in Watertown. The following announcement was provided by the MBTA and MassDOT:

Three virtual public meetings are being held this month regarding the MBTA’s Fare Transformation program and upgrades to its sales network. In the future, riders will be able to purchase MBTA fares and passes online, via their smartphones, and with contactless credit/debit cards. Though customers will no longer be able to use cash to pay onboard vehicles once the new fare collection system is implemented by 2023, the MBTA is currently introducing more places to load cash onto CharlieCards than were previously available. Aimed at serving cash-dependent riders, this expansion will result in a larger, more robust, and more diverse sales network of retailers, in-station fare vending machines, and new streetscape fare vending machines at bus stops, Commuter Rail, Green Line, and Mattapan Line stations across the network.

Plan to Add Bike Lane to Section of Waverley Ave. Approved by Council

An illustration of the new bike lanes on the uphill part of Waverley Avenue between Orchard and Belmont streets. Bike lanes will be added on the uphill parts of the section of Waverley Avenue near Orchard Street, in a plan that will also add curbing and planting strips along the roadway. The Town Council approved the renovation of the section of the roadway running between Orchard and Belmont streets at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. The option was chosen over another that would have had cyclists share the roadway with motor vehicles and would have preserved more on-street parking. Both options studied by the Department of Public Works would have met the Town’s Complete Streets goal, which calls for Watertown’s roadways to be designed for a variety of transportation options, including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and public transportation.

MassDOT Grant Funds Watertown Bluebike Station, Other Improvements

A Bluebike station in Watertown Square was paid for by a state grant. Watertown received a grant from the Mass. Department of Transportation to build a Bluebike station in Watertown Square and make other road and sidewalk improvements. The $280,218 grant was part of the third round of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program. The bike share station is next to the entrance to the Charles River Path in Watertown Square.

Watertown’s Too Tall Parking Meters to be Fixed

New parking meters, like this one, will be installed in Watertown’s Municipal Parking Lots. They will accept credit cards as well as coins. Watertown’s new parking meters are high tech, and residents have found that they have to reach much higher to put in payments in some of new ones than they did with the old ones. WBZ Channel 4 came out to Town and reported that one of the meters measured 5-foot-7, according to the news station’s report. A Watertown resident posted a photo on Facebook showing a meter on Mt.