The MBTA Looks to the Future

Photo courtesy by wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“The destination of this train is… Park Street” rings throughout trains on the Green Line as Bostonians navigate the city with the closing of the Government Center T station.

Government Center will be closed for two years as extensive renovations and a full redesign costing $82 million of the station takes place.

This project is much needed, as some parts of the station have not been renovated since 1898 and Government Center is not handicap accessible. As one of the largest and most used stations, installing elevators for those using wheelchairs is a priority. Also, project coordinators plan to upgrade current escalators.

“The scale of this is really a complete redo and modernization. There are actually parts of Government Center that are more than a hundred years old,” said MBTA general manager Beverly A. Scott. “It’s time. This is the big one.”

The modernization aspect of this project includes new landscaping and a four-story glass exterior to make the station more aesthetically pleasing. However the exterior improvements are second to upgrading lighting and train safety systems and making the station handicap accessible.

Photo courtesy by flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

So what does this mean for travelers? The MBTA is installing a free shuttle system that will operate between Haymarket, Bowdoin, State Street and Government Center. The Boston Globe has provided a very helpful map that helps T riders navigate around the closed station.

Although these changes may trouble commuters, there are some new changes that will please T riders. The late-night T service has begun with trains operating until 3:00 am. The service has started off a success with plenty of travelers on the first night. As expected with this new project, MBTA officials will continue to monitor passenger numbers to make sure the service remains successful.

There is also a new idea to innovate the way passengers pay for transportation. The Kickstarter project, Sesame Ring, replaces the CharlieCards with an electronic ring, reports Boston.com. A rider would tap the ring on the CharlieCard readers making the process more efficient. Now, passengers would not have to search to find their cards with a ring being more accessible. The project is not fully operational and it remains to be seen how effective this is; however, it certainly demonstrates a desire to upgrade the rider’s experience.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The future of the MBTA is not set in stone but one thing is for sure: current residents can expect some big changes.

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John Paradiso