A crossing on a busy stretch of Main Street in Watertown will be improved after the City of Watertown entered an agreement with the MBTA to share responsibility for the project. Improvements will be be made in the area of Main Street and Whites Avenue (near the corner of Salstonstall Park), including making bus stop more accessible, upgrading the crosswalk with sidewalk bump outs, and rectangular flashing beacons, said Acting Deputy City Manager Steve Magoon. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, which the City Council approved at its July 12 meeting, the MBTA will fund and perform the design of the project. The City will fund and perform the construction, Magoon said. Public Works Superintendent Greg St.
Charlie BreitroseBuses like this one on the 71 bus will get priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. The following information was provided by MassDOT:
Bus Network Redesign’s proposed bus network map is now available for your review at MBTA.com/BNRD. This proposal for bus service will create a more equitable network with more frequent service, better connections, and more all-day service every day. You can view the full proposal here.
Charlie BreitroseAn MBTA bus in Watertown. The MBTA has proposed some major changes to its bus service, including more frequent runs for the 70 Bus and the addition of two routes: one serving Newton and Waltham, and another that goes from Riverside Station in Newton to Arlington and includes Belmont. The changes are part of the Better Bus Program, the MBTA’s proposal to revamp parts of the bus system to meet the changing needs of the Greater Boston area due to shifting demographics, new employment centers, increased traffic congestion and changing travel patterns, according to the MBTA’s website. Recently, the MBTA released a proposed map of the new bus routes (click here to see an interactive map). The changes impacting Watertown include increasing the frequency of the 70 Bus from the current service, every 30 minutes or less during midday and on weekdays, to every 15 minutes or less seven days a week under the proposed plan.
Legislation recently passed on Beacon Hill requires communities with MBTA service to create an area where dense housing projects would be allowed in locations near transit hubs. Watertown officials say, however, the area of the City designated by the state does not make sense and should be moved closer to the center of town. Each of the 175 MBTA communities must designate an area of at least 50 acres where multi-family projects with up to 15 units per acre would be allowed by right, so the City could not deny approval based on density. These zones are supposed to be within half-a-mile of a transit station. In Watertown’s case, the bus hubs in Watertown Square and the Watertown Yard do not qualify because they do not have a building available to passengers, acting Deputy City Manager Steve Magoon said at the Feb.
Charlie BreitroseA 71 bus on Mt. Auburn Street. The following information was provided by the MBTA:
MBTA staff today proposed to the Audit and Finance Subcommittee of the MBTA Board several fare policy changes as part of the MBTA’s Fare Transformation, which aims to make paying for transit easier and more convenient for our customers.
“These fare media updates will provide MBTA riders with greater flexibility through the introduction of ‘tappable’ forms of payment that are compatible with future fare readers on buses and trolleys, allowing for all-door boarding and, ultimately, for faster service,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We know some changes will take time to get used to, like the $3 card fee that allows for ‘one more trip protection’ and making sure every rider has a Charlie Card or other form of fare payment. But, if approved by the MBTA’s Board in April, we’re excited to make these important improvements to our fare system and to provide even more easy-to-use fare options to our riders.”
Upon completion of the public input process in March and subject to the MBTA Board approval in April, these policy changes would go into effect with the introduction of the MBTA’s next phases of Fare Transformation.
The MBTA is actively seeking public comment through multiple forums and channels on the following fare policy changes related to the upcoming fare media:
· Ending “Passback”: Currently allowed through the legacy fare system, the same CharlieCard or CharlieTicket loaded with fare value can be used to allow multiple riders through a fare gate.
Charlie BreitroseThe electric trackless trolleys used by the MBTA in Watertown will be taken off line due to roadwork on Mt. Auburn Street and replaced at first by hybrid diesel and then battery powered buses. The projects require the overhead wires to be removed. The following announcement was provided by the MBTA:
The MBTA, City of Cambridge, and City of Watertown announced today that five municipal and utility roadway projects in Cambridge and Watertown along Mt. Auburn Street, Belmont Street, and Huron Avenue are set to commence in spring 2022.
Charlie BreitroseAn MBTA bus in Watertown. The MBTA announced changes to services beginning on Dec. 19, 2021, including decreased frequency and schedule changes for some bus lines serving Watertown. The 70 bus line from Waltham to the Central Square area in Cambridge will have decreased frequency during weekday mornings and afternoons, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday afternoons. The 504 express bus from Watertown Yard to Copley Square will have decrease frequency in the morning and afternoon.
Charlie BreitroseBuses like this one on the 71 bus will get priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. The following announcement was provided by MassDOT:
The MBTA and MassDOT will host a virtual public meeting on Zoom on Wednesday, October 27, at 6 p.m. to discuss the Bus Network Redesign Project. An initiative of the Better Bus Project, the MBTA and MassDOT’s Bus Network Redesign Project is taking a look at the bus system as a whole in order to recommend a new network that better serves the needs of the region. The project’s second public meeting will present the approach and principles used by MassDOT and the MBTA to propose a transformed bus network through the Bus Network Redesign process.