MBTA and MassDOT Announce Launch of Study Extending Silver Line Service to Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston
Posted on January 25, 2021
The MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced the launch of the Silver Line Extension Alternatives Analysis to assess the feasibility, utility, and cost of various alignment and service frequency options for extending Silver Line service to Everett and neighboring communities.
“We’re excited to collaborate with MassDOT on this analysis of Silver Line service,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Studying the extension of the Silver Line to Everett and beyond is a key objective of Focus40 and an important step in improving service to essential workers and transit-critical populations that live far from the Orange and Blue Lines and rely on bus service to get to work and other destinations.”
“This study builds off years of work and collaboration between the City and the MBTA to improve bus services in Everett,” said City of Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “Extending the Silver Line to Everett will transform our city by unlocking economic opportunity in the Commercial Triangle and along the Broadway corridor and give residents more direct access to jobs, health care, and services in Boston and Cambridge. We are extremely excited to continue to work with the MBTA and MassDOT to determine the best way to implement rapid bus service in Everett.”
“Many residents of Chelsea are the essential workers who have reliably kept the Commonwealth running during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City of Chelsea City Manager Thomas G. Ambrosino. “As an environmental justice community, Chelsea residents deserve fast, dependable transit service. Extending Silver Line service presents an opportunity to enhance transit service for our residents and combat the growing impacts of climate change.”
“In Somerville, we pride ourselves in aligning transportation policy with housing and economic development policy,” said City of Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Our advocacy for one-seat mass transit service connecting Logan Airport with Kendall Square via East Somerville is rooted in a firm commitment to addressing current and historic inequities in our City and in our region.”
“Kendall Square and East Cambridge have experienced incredible growth in recent years and more housing and jobs are being added to the area with the redevelopment of parcels along Binney Street, the Volpe site, and North Point,” said City of Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “Improving transit services in the area is crucial to ensure new residents and workers have sustainable and reliable ways to travel to work, home, and other destinations.”
“It’s more important than ever to invest in public transit and ensure that residents of Boston have reliable, safe, and convenient options for traveling throughout the city and the region,” said City of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We’re excited to work with MassDOT and the MBTA on this study and to improve transit for Boston residents traveling to jobs, schools, and other destinations throughout the region.”
The study follows recent recommendations by the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group and the Everett Transit Action Plan to extend Silver Line service to Everett and neighboring communities in order to provide service at near rapid-transit levels for those living just beyond the reach of the Orange and Blue Lines.
Existing bus routes serving Chelsea and Everett have maintained some of the highest ridership levels in the system during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the week of January 4, 2021, six of the top 10 bus routes in the MBTA system in terms of ridership recovery served Everett and/or Chelsea.
Recent recommendations by the Kendall Square Mobility Task Force have also called for improving transit services and connections within the area in order to accommodate new growth in housing and jobs in East Cambridge.
The MBTA and MassDOT are working in partnership with the cities of Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston to determine the potential alternatives and benefits of a Silver Line extension. In addition to convening a Stakeholder Working Group comprised of municipal staff, community members, and elected officials, the project team will conduct an extensive public engagement process throughout the course of the study to gather input from residents, MBTA customers, and other stakeholders. The study is anticipated to be completed in spring 2022.