By Seth Daniel
There are no shortage of senior citizens in Charlestown who hop on the #92 bus and head over to Assembly Square to stores like the Christmas Tree Shops or K-Mart.
However, that trek has gotten a little more difficult for seniors from the Town due to the bus stop being moved to the other side of the development, closer to the newer stores by the Lego Land, last September.
Elaine McCarthy said she is one of many seniors having trouble with the new configuration.
She said seniors and residents taking the bus to Assembly used to be let out near the old stores, but last year, the stop was moved over to the newer part of the mall.
“It lets us off now and we have to walk all the way across the parking lot,” she said. “I don’t know what the reason is, but I would think they want to take care of the people in the richer part of the mall. We have nothing in Charlestown. We don’t even have a place to go food shopping. We’re land locked so we go over there a lot. It’s not safe for seniors to have to walk all the way across. I think they should have a stop over on one side and keep the old stop on the other side of the mall too.”
The MBTA said that is likely not going to happen.
Spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the decision came last year, and fliers were put out regularly all summer to alert riders of the change. He said it is a better situation to have the stop on a public street rather than in a parking lot, where the old stop was.
“Because of shifting passenger demand, the stops for Routes 90 and 92 at K-Mart and Bed Bath & Beyond were relocated in September to Grand Union Boulevard,” he said. “The former stops date from when the Assembly Square Marketplace was the only development in the area. Now with the opening of the shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, a park, and residences at Assembly Row, the center of activity has shifted eastward. Grand Union Boulevard is much more centrally located for most users traveling to and from both areas.
There are substantial operational benefits to moving the bus route onto a public street, allowing the MBTA to provide customers with more reliable bus service,” he continued. “Parking lots are a challenging area for buses to operate, since there are frequent conflicts with pedestrians and circulating vehicles.”
Pesaturo said it is important to not that the new stop is only about a one or two minute walk to the old mall and there are accessible sidewalks the entire distance.