Next Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at 3:30pm, state, city, local officials, and community organizations will join Transportation officials at Maverick Station to officially announce the Bikes on the Blue Line Pilot Program. The MBTA, in collaboration with the Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG) and MassBike initiated a six-month pilot project on the Blue Line beginning March 19, 2011 expanding bicycle access during rush hours. Bicycles will be allowed on the Blue Line at all times except from 7-9AM towards Bowdoin and 4-6PM towards Wonderland weekdays. The changes provides an additional two hours of bike access during peak periods (inbound in the morning and outbound in the afternoon), and an additional six hours of bike access in the reverse-peak.
Bring your bike to the event, then you can take it on the Blue Line to downtown Boston DURING EVENING RUSH HOUR!
The MBTA recognizes that Boston Harbor poses a barrier to cyclists to and from East Boston and welcomes the opportunity to use existing Blue Line capacity to improve customer mobility. This pilot project allows residents of Blue Line communities to travel a few stops by public transportation and then complete their trip by bike, opening up more economic and educational opportunities that are not easily reached directly by T. The project also promotes more bikeable communities, which leads to more livable, healthier communities and reduced pollution.
This pilot project is exciting for the communities on the Blue Line because of the collaboration between the MBTA, organizations such as MassBike and the Chelsea Creek Action Group, and community residents. CCAG is a grassroots organization formed by East Boston and Chelsea residents, the Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee, and the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). Youth from CCAG’s Environmental Chelsea Creek Crew (E3C) have been the lead advocates for the Blue Line pilot, working together with MassBike and the MBTA. Ultimately, this pilot project serves as a model for agencies and government entities to work with community groups and other stakeholders to achieve excellent public transportation and improve the city.
This pilot project will be in effect on the Blue Line ONLY; unfortunately, bicycles remain restricted on the Orange and Red Lines between 7-10AM and 4-7PM weekdays. We recognize that challenges remain to expanding rush hour bicycle access on the other lines due to higher ridership and crowding, but we hope that the lessons we learn on the Blue Line will help us find solutions. This is the latest chapter in MassBike’s ongoing efforts to help bicyclists take full advantage of our public transportation system.