T notes: Questions raised on shuttle buses
Is the Green Line Ext. being extended?
OFFICIALS WITH THE Federal Transit Authority have raised questions about the handicap accessibility of Yankee buses being used to shuttle Red Line passengers between stations on weekends when work is being done on the Longfellow Bridge.
The questions came up at a regular meeting between MBTA and federal officials and came in the wake of some complaints by riders two weeks ago.
MBTA officials said the decision to not run weekend shuttles between Park Street Station and Kendall/MIT over the next two weekends was unrelated to any discussions with the Federal Transit Authority.
T spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email that the transit authority will work with the Federal Transit Authority to make sure services provided by outside vendors meet the needs of all customers.
Officials at Yankee Lines declined comment and officials at the Federal Transit Administration could not be reached.
Green Line extension extension?
The MBTA put out a press release on Wednesday indicating the transit authority was seeking environmental approval to extend the proposed Green Line extension one more stop – to Mystic Valley Parkway (Route 16) in Medford and Somerville.
At first glance, the press release appeared to indicate a major change to the $2.3 billion project, for which a design-build contract is scheduled to be awarded in the next week to 10 days. But state officials quickly sent out a new press release clarifying that the environmental review is only being done in case the state at some point in the future decides to extend the project to its original finish line at Route 16.
“We’re keeping the idea alive, but we’re not on the cusp of doing it and we’re not going to change the scope,” said Jacqueline Goddard, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation. She described the idea as “perhaps, maybe, someday, years in the future.”Rafael Mares, a vice president at the Conservation Law Foundation, said the Mystic Valley Parkway stop was the original termination point for the Green Line extension, but when funding became scarce for the overall project the terminus was moved to College Avenue in Medford. Mares said the state is now in the process of completing the environmental review that would be required for extending the project to Mystic Valley Parkway.
“It’s a much better project going all the way to Route 16,” he said.