(Image courtesy MBTA)
Changes in stop location and improvements to amenities along the 28 bus route in Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury received a thorough vetting from the Mattapan community Tuesday night.
The MBTA and its team of consultants were at the Mattapan Branch Library for the second round of meetings regarding the “Key Bus Route Improvement Program”, a system-wide initiative that aims to improve service on the MBTA’s 15 busiest routes.
The program is being paid for with a $10 million federal grant.
Because the money has a time limit, all the improvements and adjustments must be completed by the end of 2013.
At Tuesday’s hearing, one was held back in April, residents in general were receptive to the recommended changes by the MBTA, which include eliminating and moving some bus stops, and adding benches, shelters, and trash receptacles.
According to the T, four to seven bus stops per mile or stops every 750-feet to 1,320-feet, is the optimum spacing for stops. In comparison, the 28’s stops are on average spaced every 650-feet prompting some stops to be suggested for consolidation and others for elimination.
“This is the first time the MBTA has really taken a comprehensive look at the stops,” said Ralph DeNisco, a senior associate with Nelson Nygaard a consultant firm with the T.
On the 28 route, the T has proposed to bring the number of inbound stops (to Ruggles Station), including those shared with the 15 and 22, from 41 to 37 and the number of outbound stops (to Mattapan Station) from 46 to 36.
Many of the ten or so residents in attendance Tuesday generally agreed with the proposed eliminations and consolidations only highlighting certain stops they said were too heavily used to be removed including the outbound stop at Blue Hill Avenue and Fairway Street.
Some residents also questioned the T’s decision to propose moving the outbound stop opposite Babson Street and Blue Hill Avenue to the front of the new Mattapan Community Health Center, which is currently under construction.
Residents said if the stop were moved traffic would be heavily impacted in the already congested square.
A few residents also voiced support for the proposal to move the inbound stop at Blue Hill Avenue and Walk Hill Street to the front of the Mattapan Library.
“We prefer it get moved to the library to help the businesses,” said Sherelle Wadsworth, a Mattapan business owner, who added the move could open up parking for the businesses.
Tuesday’s meeting was the last public meeting in Mattapan before the T heads into the “design phase” of the process.
The next meeting regarding the 15, 22, and 28 will be held at Dorchester's Grove Hall Community Center Jun. 26.
The final meeting regarding the 15, 22, 28 will be held Jun. 28 at Roxbury's Dudley Library.
To read more about the “Key Bus Route Improvement Program”, provide comments, or find out about upcoming meetings, click here.