The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) held a public meeting about the Wollaston Station improvement project on Nov. 15 at Quincy Central Middle School.
MBTA officials updated residents on project developments. Renovation will start Jan. 2, 2018, rather than in 2017, and shuttle bus services will assist commuters between North Quincy and Wollaston to ease the stress. Wollaston Station is expected be closed for 20 months to make handicap-accessible improvements, as it is the only Red Line station that is not accessible.
In advance of the Wollaston Station shutdown, Red Line trains from North Quincy to Braintree will stop running Sundays through Thursdays after 9 p.m. until Jan. 25, 2018. As the construction continues, all stations south of North Quincy will remain closed after 9 p.m. on weekends till the completion of the project.
Brian Kane, MBTA director of operation analysis, spoke about minimizing disruption to Quincy locals.
“There will be 20 to 25 shuttle buses looping between North Quincy and Wollaston Station during rush hours,” said Kane. “The buses leave Wollaston according to the train schedule.”
Many local residents were concerned about the long construction period proposed by the state agency . According to the initial plan, Wollaston Station will be closed for about 20 months.
“It shouldn’t be taking more than six months to install two elevators,” said Quincy local Joseph Enos, who has been living near the station for 10 years.
Recently reelected councilor-at-large Noel DiBona suggested extending the shuttle bus service to JFK/UMass Station, where the two Red Line branches merge, for greater convenience to commuters.
MBTA officials promised to look at the proposal. Several MBTA representatives and Quincy city officials attended the public gathering. Approximately 80 people attended the Wollaston Station meeting, with nearly half expressing concern.
The shuttle bus services will be managed by private contractor Yankee Lines. It has assisted MBTA with other projects, such as the shuttle between Park Street and Kendall/MIT stations.
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