MBTA meeting on Wollaston Station reveals updated plan during closure

The MBTA renovation project will replace the stairs with ramps and add a new south entrance. It is the only non-accessible station on the Red Line. (Image courtesy of Valerie Sizhe Li.)

Quincy’s Wollaston Station on the Red Line will be closed for renovation from fall 2017 to summer 2019, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials said at a community meeting on June 21. At least 70 residents signed up to speak at the meeting, voicing concern on the impact of closing Wollaston Station for nearly two years.

Wollaston is currently the only   station on the Red Line, which violates the Americans with Disabilities Act that came in effect 25 years ago.

According to the proposed construction plan, Red Line trains will pass through Wollaston Station. Shuttle services will run between Wollaston and North Quincy stations for inbound and outbound commuters.

“Two pick-up locations on Newport Avenue and Greenwood Avenue will accommodate Quincy residents and the MBTA is also subsidizing $75,000 for the ferry service,” said Jason Johnson, community relations liaison from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

MBTA project manager Joe Cheever said the updated plan includes increased local bus service on routes 210, 211 and 212 and more customer service agents to assist riders. In addition, traffic officers will be assigned at Neponset Circle per the city’s request.

The details of the bus schedules have not been confirmed. “The MBTA continue to review bus schedules and make any adjustments which are needed in order to improve customer service,” Johnson added.

State Sen. John Keenan said, “We face difficulties with the MBTA on a fairly regular basis. That includes flooding in Wollaston station every once in a while. It is also not safe to access for people with physical disabilities.”

The Wollaston Station Improvements Project will transform that station into a modern, fully accessible facility, making the entirety of the Red Line 100-percent accessible, according to the MBTA.

The $38 million project will feature additional customer paths, brand new elevators, upgraded stairways, new bathrooms and additional lighting. “New electrical, fire protection, security, flooding mitigation and site utility upgrades will also occur to support the accessible improvements,” said project construction manager John McCormack.

However, many of the 70 residents who signed up to speak were not satisfied with the project plan. Mary Lally of Quincy said, “Currently, commuters with physical challenges gamely manage the obstacles at the station, but dealing with the shuttle buses will be a far greater hardship for them. A shuttle bus driven through rush hour traffic to North Quincy station is not an accommodating substitute for a six-car train.”

“It probably should not take so long to renovate the station,” said a local convenience store owner Kevin Ng, “but I think the construction site can bring more workers here, which is good for business.”

昆士的紅線沃拉斯頓地鐵站翻新工程包括加個天橋,讓乘客可以從月台下車。(圖片由酈思哲攝。)

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