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MBTA looks to extend Silver Line from Chelsea to Sullivan Square via Everett

Proposed extension of Silver Line to Everett and Sullivan squares

Proposed extension, via MBTA.

The MBTA and MassDOT said today they want to extend the Silver Line 3, which now terminates in Chelsea, to neighboring Everett and then to the Sullivan Square T stop - where riders will be able to ride a new breed of "high frequency buses" to Kendall Square.

MBTA planners say the extension would particularly benefit Everett residents, who now suffer from "a lack of access to high quality, high-capacity transit."

The extended route will be served by a new fleet of 45 hybrid buses the T is expected to take delivery of starting this year.

Longer term, the agencies said, they want to look at keeping the Silver Line going all the way to Kendall Square itself, but they've shelved that idea for now in part because it would require purchasing even more buses.

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Comments

This plan has been on the books for a long time.

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Voting closed 123

This could also be a much quicker way for folks in Charlestown and East Somerville to get to the aeroport.

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Voting closed 172

Unless the Orange or Blue Line is just not running. One change fewer? Sure. It will run in traffic almost the entire way to the current end near the Chelsea Market Basket. Plus there's the wild card of whether the bridge is up.

This would degrade service on the rest of the SL3 because the buses between Sullivan and Chelsea will get stuck in traffic.

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Voting closed 87

The information is in the report, there is no need to spread inaccurate assumptions.

  1. The existing peek hours side running bus lanes in Everett will become 24 hour bus lanes
  2. The existing Chelsea busway will be extended to second street
  3. Lower Broadway and Alford St will gain a dedicated busway from just south of Sweester Circle all the way to Sullivan station

This will not be like the SL4/SL5 Washington St. service, but far more like the existing SL3.

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Voting closed 118

Taking a lane away from Broadway/Alford for a busway.

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Voting closed 77

Putting a dedicated busway where it's easy rather than where it has the most impact is … relatively minimal. There's not enough real estate between Everett and Chelsea to keep the buses out of traffic. Dedicated lanes in and out of Sullivan will be good, but really for the buses already using that bridge, not for the buses to (shuffles papers) airport station but not actually the airport.

Right now Sullivan-Airport is 21-26 minutes, without slow zones probably more like 19-23. The SL3 from its current terminus to Airport is 13 minutes, and the driving time for the rest of the route at 2 a.m. is 8-12 minutes, but most of the time has more traffic. Even with no traffic, it's already slower than taking the T through the city. Perhaps more sense would be a Malden- or Wellington-to-Airport bus via the busway, but even that is at the whims of traffic.

This whole project is a solution in search of a problem, and the funny thing is that it is a parallel process to the Bus Network Redesign, also a solution in search of a problem, meanwhile the T can't figure out how to dispatch the buses they already have.

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Voting closed 124

I want more transit but this is a stupid idea. You want to serve Everett better, make Broadway with two PERMANENT bus lanes in either direction, and run a NEW Silver Line route up and down Broadway between Malden (via Glendale Square) and Sullivan.

The Silver Line (SL3) should end at Wellington. Not Sullivan. Especially trying to make a loop thru Everett Square. The SL3 is already slow between traffic in the Ted Williams, when the bridge goes up. So now the reverse direction is going to be even SLOWER because its gonna get stuck at Sullivan Square and along Alford Street approaching Sweetser Circle and then again in Everett Square.

But Casino.. so we're catering to the casino these days, so we will do this instead. *eye roll*

As someone who lives in Chelsea and a six minute walk from the Silver Line.. AND someone who took photos of the original line's construction...... AND someone who commutes from Chelsea to Sullivan Sq every day...

I would never use this. It would be too slow. I currently go 112 -> Wood Island -> State -> Sullivan . Almost always I never wait more than 4 minutes at each connection point.. and if I make all the connections, I can be at Sullivan in 25 minutes. I don't think a bus sitting in traffic would be able to do that. Even if I have to wait at Wood Island or State, it never takes longer than 35 minutes. I still don't think this could get me there. Everett Sq, Sweetser Circle, and Sullivan Square are too much of a mess during rush our to be effective.

Just gonna say this.. Broadway in Everett Sq has five buses that go thru that? Unless the MBTA is going to put in bus priority lights and dedicated lanes, this won't work. And if they are.. why wouldn't you just try to beef up the routes that currently exist. This is just duplicate service under the vise of "Rapid Transit". The Silver Line is hardly 'rapid'..

Sorry folks, I've been against this idea since the day it was thought of, which was shortly after the Silver Line opened in 2018. It needs to go to Wellington in its own busway.

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Voting closed 157

As an Everett resident, I wholeheartedly agree with the previous commenter's assessment of this extension. This will not work and does not adequately serve the city. We need better transit running the length of Broadway; I'm all for two permanent bus lanes to make this happen. This new proposal from the MBTA really only serves the southernmost portions of the city. Running two silver lines, one up and down broadway and one east-west from Chelsea to Wellington, would be far and away the better solution here.

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Voting closed 85

A continual loop past Sullivan into downtown and onward to the Seaport would be ideal because getting from Sullivan to South Station/Seaport is ridiculously long with rides (bus/train) and walking.

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Voting closed 66

Taking a surface bus in traffic from Sullivan to South Station is not faster than taking Orange to Red. It's not faster with today's white-and-yellow buses, and it wouldn't be faster with new silver-and-blue buses, because the problem is the intense and perpetual street traffic between the two endpoints.

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Voting closed 73

Fellow SL3 daily commuter - well said. The route is already long enough and struggles with pacing on a good day.

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Voting closed 156

> run a NEW Silver Line route up and down Broadway between Malden (via Glendale Square) and Sullivan.

Doesn't make any sense since there are already local buses. In order to get the most out of a Silver Line bus, it needs to connect to either the Airport or a major hub (ie: South Station). In this case, communities in Everett and East Somerville will be connected all the way to Seaport (all the biotech/lab jobs) and pass through Airport Station. This is a perfect route.

> So now the reverse direction is going to be even SLOWER because its gonna get stuck at Sullivan Square and along Alford Street approaching Sweetser Circle and then again in Everett Square.

Bus-Only Lanes are the solution .Sullivan Square is currently being redesigned.

> But Casino.. so we're catering to the casino these days, so we will do this instead. *eye roll*

Casino is the town's largest employer. If it was a City Hall or a retail district (like Assembly), nobody would complain.

There is no reason the area with the biggest concentration of jobs shouldn't get priority. "Ew, gaming" isn't good enough.

> I would never use this. It would be too slow. I currently go 112 -> Wood Island -> State -> Sullivan .

Every transfer you make adds an unknown amount of waiting time and increases risk. The majority of riders - myself included - would rather take a consistent ride than transfer three times.

> Unless the MBTA is going to put in bus priority lights and dedicated lanes, this won't work

MBTA states dedicated lanes for all major bus routes as a goal.

> It needs to go to Wellington in its own busway.

Short term, yes. Long term, this route will connect to Kendall/MIT which is desperately needed. Much easier to that from Sullivan.

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Voting closed 58

I wish Uhub had included the legend for that image, because you'd see this comes with bus lanes for 80% of the extension's route, including bus lanes all the way from Sullivan Square up Lower Broadway to Sweetser Circle (with only a tiny section without bus lanes just south of the circle). Also the study looked at taking the SL3 to Wellington and the travel times and ridership were worse for that option. Take a look at the report!

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Voting closed 60

Unless the MBTA is going to put in bus priority lights and dedicated lanes, this won't work.

You can look no further than the executive summary to see that there will indeed be dedicated lanes and bus priority lights. This is not the South End Silver Line.

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Voting closed 69

I have a transit signal priority system to sell you.

The T's owned it for years. It's never been used.

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Voting closed 144

The T can't keep up with the maintenance on the existing lines. Now they are expanding, again?

Have a swell day one and all!

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Voting closed 90

Its actually good that the T is trying to expand service to underserved communities. And they seem to be getting better about maintaining existing lines under the new leadership.

Good job, MBTA!

Now if we could only get Beacon Hill to get off their useless duffs and approve a sustainable funding stream...

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Voting closed 90

Could they maybe finish connecting Silver Line tunnel at South Station out towards Washington St first?

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Voting closed 80

The Silver Line Phase 3, which would have tunneled under Boylston/Essex from Charles St. was officially cancelled once the engineering studies proved it was essentially impossible without spending $5 billion. The fact that it didn't happen and won't isn't at all a reflection on MBTA project management capabilities.

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Voting closed 68