The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the MBTA have pegged April 21 as the first day of operations for the new Silver Line Gateway (SL-3) in Chelsea and East Boston – connecting residents of Chelsea to the airport, the Seaport in Boston and South Station in what is expected to be a 30-minute ride from the Mystic Mall Station to South Station.
“Silver Line 3-Chelsea relates well to the Baker-Polito Administration’s economic development goals,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Silver Line 3-Chelsea is consistent with the notion that if the MBTA can offer an efficient, fully accessible, one-seat ride between key destinations then more people will use mass transit and the service will spur transit-oriented development.”
MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez said it will simplify thousands of commutes to and from Boston.
“The MBTA is excited to bring this new service to Chelsea, East Boston, and the surrounding communities,” said Ramírez. “We believe the SL3-Chelsea will simplify the commutes of many of our customers in these neighborhoods.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it will likely make the City much more desirable for those who live here and those looking to live in Chelsea.
“The City is very excited about the opening of the new Silver Line,” he said. “It has been a long time in the making. We feel it will substantially improve transportation options for our residents and make Chelsea and even more desirable place to live and work.”
Maria Belen Power of GreenRoots, an organization in Chelsea that advocates for better public transit, said it will be helpful to residents as Chelsea is highly dependent on public transit and has no subway stop.
“We are excited for service on the silver line to start in Chelsea, as it will provide another line of access from Chelsea to Boston,” she said. “As a community highly dependent on public transit with no subway stop, bus services, including bus rapid transit, are key for our community to thrive. While this is a great and necessary improvement in service, Chelsea still has the three busiest bus lines in the entire MBTA system. We will continue to hold the MBTA accountable to improve public transit in Chelsea for all of our residents.”
State Rep. RoseLee Vincent said she hopes the Silver Line introduction will help relieve the bus congestion.
“This new and expanded public transportation route will help to reduce overcrowding on MBTA buses that serve Chelsea, as well as provide residents of Chelsea an alternative and more direct route to subway routes and downtown Boston,” she said.
Fares on the SL-3 will be $2.25 per ride with CharlieCard, and a Linkpass costing $84.50 per month. Student and senior citizen passes cost $30. Children under 12 are free.
There are free transfers offered at:
- Blue Line at Airport Station.
- Red Line at South Station.
- Bus Rapid Transit lines SL-1 (Logan to South Station), SL-2 (South Boston Design Center to South Station), SL-4 (Dudley Square to South Station).
- Local Bus Routes 111, 112, 116 and 117.
MBTA officials predicted bus customers from Revere and Chelsea who tend to experience crowding issues on Bus Routes 111, 112, 114, 116, and 117 will benefit from the SL3-Chelsea. As an additional travel option, they said the SL3-Chelsea will make enhanced, new, or simplified connections to the Blue Line – at Airport Station – as well as the South Boston Waterfront and the Red Line at South Station.
Nearly 7,000 daily bus customers on these area routes take trips that can require several transfers in order to travel from Chelsea and East Boston to downtown areas. This commute is now simple and direct by using the SL3-Chelsea, filling a critical gap in access between these residents to the employment opportunities in the Seaport District and downtown.
Each of the Routes 111, 112, 114, 116, and 117 will also connect directly to or very close to brand new SL3-Chelsea stations, making hopping off a customer’s regular route to board the SL3-Chelsea easy and convenient. Route 111 connects at Bellingham Square Station, Route 112 utilizes a stop approximately 50 yards from Bellingham Square Station, Route 114’s City Hall Avenue bus stop is just three to five blocks from both Bellingham Square and Box District Stations, and Routes 116 and 117 connect at Box District Station.
The SL3-Chelsea route will operate 60-foot, high-capacity buses serving four new stations through dedicated, bus-only lanes in Chelsea and via the Coughlin Bypass in East Boston.
SL3-Chelsea buses will operate approximately every 10 minutes with the time between Chelsea and South Stations anticipated to be between 20 and 30 minutes.
This new service is the first brand new service to be introduced to the MBTA system since the MBTA Greenbush Commuter Rail Line began in 2007. Construction of the SL3-Chelsea route began in March 2015 with construction of dedicated busways and four new stations. Construction of this $49-million investment was managed by MassDOT’s Highway Division and jointly funded by the MBTA (approximately $42.1 million) and MassDOT ($7.6 million).
MBTA officials will present an overview of the new SL3-Chelsea service, discussing schedules, routes, and stops at the following two public meetings this month. Both meetings will provide Spanish language interpreters.
- March 19, 2018
East Boston High Auditorium
86 White Street, East Boston
- March 21, 2018
Chelsea City Hall
500 Broadway, Chelsea
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