With the clock ticking on the end of the Orange Line, the news that many people trying to get into or out of Chinatown will have to hoof it to the nearest alternative is not sitting well with Mayor Wu, City Councilor Ed Flynn and three state legislators, who today asked the T to extend its bus-shuttle service to at least the Chinatown or Tufts Medical Center stops, in particular for seniors, the disabled and students.
At a press conference yesterday, T officials said Chinatown was out of luck because the roads are just too narrow and heavily used to allow bulky shuttle buses to get there, so they acknowledged people trying to get anywhere between Back Bay and State Street/Government Center will have to find another way to do so for a month. Take the Silver Line, they suggested, or walk to the Green Line.
Wrong answer, Wu, Flynn, state Senators Lydia Edwards and Nick Collins and state Rep. Aaron Michlewitz say in a letter to the T today.
As you know, Chinatown is the neighborhood that is particularly reliant on the MBTA for transportation, especially our immigrant neighbors and residents of color who use the MBTA to get to and from Chinatown. Many use the Orange Line to go Tufts Medical Center for healthcare and work, and students at the Josiah Quincy School are also reliant on the Tufts Medical Center stop to head to their school. While the MBTA asks its riders to utilize the Silver Line or the Green Line when trying to access Tufts Medical Center, that is not an easy option for those coming from the north. The Chinatown T stop is always widely used, particularly for seniors andworkers in Chinatown, and the lack of shuttle bus stops at either Tufts Medical Center or Chinatown will make travel extremely difficult for residents and workers in the area.
Tufts Medical Center itself is not particularly happy about the month-long demise of the station that literally sits right under its campus:
While the MBTA had said those that ride the Orange Line could use a replacement bus service during the month-long shutdown, those who rely on Chinatown, Tufts Medical Center, Downtown Crossing and State Street stops will have to seek further alternatives.