The state transportation department is launching a nine-month study to explore the feasibility of extending Silver Line bus service to East Boston and Chelsea.
Officials from the department will host an introductory meeting about the Silver Line Gateway Alternatives Analysis study at Chelsea City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, according to a website the state launched for the study.
The study “will review the potential benefits, costs and impact” of extending Silver Line service from South Station and South Boston’s Seaport District to new connections with the Blue Line and East Boston, via Airport Station, and Chelsea, via Massport’s newly constructed Marty Coughlin Bypass Road, the website said.
“Connections in this corridor would link several important gateways — both the neighborhoods that many of the region’s new residents have traditionally called home, and the economically critical air, rail and port points of entry to the Boston area,” the site said.
“A Silver Line extension could fill a critical gap in access between residents in Chelsea, East Boston and other Blue Line communities and these new opportunities across Boston Harbor,” the site said. “In Chelsea, where there is a greater proportion of transit-dependent residents than any other city or town in the Boston area, extending the Silver Line could provide a much needed transit alternative.”
The Central Artery, or Big Dig, has led to a rise in development around the Seaport District. State officials say that extending the Silver Line could leverage other recent public investment, including the state’s purchase of the Grand Junction railroad right of way, the new Chelsea Street Bridge, and the Coughlin Bypass Road.