DeMaria to Walsh: Let’s Work on Bus Rapid Transit for Area

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said this month he is determined to work with Mayor Martin Walsh to bring a center-lane, gold standard Bus Rapid Transit service through Everett and Charlestown – and finishing downtown.

The comments came during and after the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor casino, when DeMaria announced he was going to focus in the next year on transportation.

And he wants to work hand-in-hand with Mayor Walsh on a seamless effort from Everett to Charlestown to downtown Boston.

“Transportation is huge on everyone’s mind – how to get people in and out of this facility (Encore Boston Harbor),” he said. “There are ways. One of them is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), gold-standard BRT. You see it in Mexico City, you see it in other countries. It’s center-lane with on street boarding, air conditioned, that can go from Glendale Street in Everett right down 99 to Rutherford Avenue and into North Station. I’m going to work my hardest to get that. I’m going to work with Mayor (Martin) Walsh who wants to build up Rutherford Avenue and the Charlestown neighborhood. I’m going to work with the Gaming Commission and with Encore on that.”

DeMaria said he is going to begin reaching out to Mayor Walsh very soon.

Charlestown and the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) already have detailed plans for the long-term redevelopment of Rutherford Avenue. Those plans are very detailed – even though they have been delayed recently – but they don’t include a center-lane BRT system.

The BTD said they have been working with Everett and surrounding communities with the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group. They said that has laid the groundwork and they are open to working with DeMaria to include some BRT ideas.

“Through the work of the Lower Mystic Regional Working Group, Everett, Somerville, Boston and the state looked at providing better bus connections to Everett,” read the BTD statement. “The City of Boston is supportive of this broad concept. The (Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square) project is currently in 25 percent design and a BRT connection is not included. However, we look forward to exploring bus improvements as we move toward the final design.”

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