MBTA Speeds Up Green Line B Branch Station Project
MBTA Speeds Up Green Line B Branch Station Project
Shuttle buses will replace trolley service during consolidation of four Comm Ave West Campus stops into two
Beginning Saturday, April 17, riders on the MBTA Green Line B Branch will trade short-term disruption for long-term gain.
The T will speed up its Green Line B Branch Station Consolidation Project along the West Campus stretch of Commonwealth Avenue by shutting down trolley service between Washington Street and Kenmore Square for a total of seven weeks this spring, so construction crews can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Shuttle buses will replace trolley service.
The good news is that the project consolidating four West Campus T stops into two along Comm Ave should finish months early, according to Angel Peña, chief of the MBTA’s ongoing Green Line Transformation. The T will specify completion only in “late 2021,” but that’s a jump forward from the original February 2022 target.
The result of the $29 million project is supposed to be a faster, safer, smoother ride for all. The construction schedule change “will minimize the duration of disruption for riders and neighbors and deliver results much sooner,” Peña says in a video announcing the change.
But riders who normally take the Green Line trolleys will have to switch to shuttle buses or the regular 57 bus throughout those seven weeks, a disruption originally planned to occur only during nights and weekends. There will also be lane closures on Comm Ave for drivers.
Shuttle bus service will replace trolleys from Saturday, April 17, to Sunday, June 13—except for BU’s Commencement week, when trolleys will return temporarily.
The new schedule:
- Saturday, April 17, through Sunday, May 9: shuttles all day and night
- Monday, May 10 through Wednesday, May 12: shuttles after 8:45 pm
- Thursday, May 13, through Sunday, May 16: regular trolley service (no shuttles)
- Monday, May 17, through Sunday, June 13: shuttles all day and night
The project, part of the Green Line Transformation, will consolidate four current stops serving West Campus into two larger and significantly improved ones, with new lighting, signage, and shelters and better accessibility.
The current Babcock Street and Pleasant Street stops will be combined into a new Babcock Street station, and the current St. Paul Street and BU West stops will be combined into a new Amory Street station.
While the changes may mean a short additional walk to the nearest stop for some people, according to T project manager Leo Murphy, it should also mean a quicker ride through that stretch of Commonwealth Avenue for all passengers, with half as many stops and fewer traffic delays thanks to signal timing changes.
“The four stops will now become proper stations,” Murphy said at a virtual public information meeting earlier this year, “with amenities such as lighting, seating, and access to emergency communication equipment.”
Platforms up to 225 feet long will be able to handle the new longer Type 10 cars. Canopies and windscreens at each platform will provide significantly more protection from the weather, and fencing and other barriers will improve customer safety from traffic. Both new stations are promised to provide better accessibility, with entrances at both ends and more accessible boarding. For a taste of what the new stations will look like, T officials point to the BU Central and BU East stops.
During the shutdown of trolley service, the T will also leverage the increased access to complete additional track replacement and other improvements on the B Branch.
Why is there no mention of COVID/social-distancing? I’ve never been in a packed B line train the past year but when they revert to the bus, it’s been packed multiple times because of the smaller size.
So happy to see this work taking place. With the CFA renovation, the Comm Ave rebuild, and now the T station upgrades west campus is feeling more and more connected to BU.
Am I the only one who is annoyed at the lost of the “BU West” name?
Why Armory street? BU East -> BU Central -> BU West makes more sense.
It’s absolutely wild that the MBTA would throw away $30M to remove 4 stations and to build 2 more. Why not just close two of the station and have people walk an extra block, instead of conjesting Comm. Ave. and the packing the shuttles like cans of sardines.
Respectfully disagree. The remaining stations would still be inacessible to riders with restricted mobility. And, by completing this project, every intersection that currently has access to a T stop will have access to the new stations. For quality of service now and in the future, this is a great move.
When the state rebuilt Commonwealth Avenue the footprint for the new stations was enlarged from the previous patches of asphalt. The new stations will be elevated to allow access for folks in wheelchairs without the need for the conductor to exit the train and manipulate the manual lifts as is the current situation. The new mid block platforms are also longer to accommodate the new fleet of green line trains. Improved access, lighting, shelter, emergency call buttons, and better overall efficiency is money well spent. IMO the sooner this work is completed the better!
While making the B line upgrade/renovations could someone at the University call attention to sink holes on the tracks at the intersection of Blanford Mall and Silber Way. It is very tricky for both cars and bicycles.