The new year is bringing noticeable changes for T and commuter-rail riders. These include a major Green Line move and several bus-route alterations.
Lechmere Station closure. Lechmere Station will close in May—and not reopen until April 2021—to facilitate the station’s move as part of the Green Line extension through Somerville into Medford. A new station will be built across Monsignor O’Brien Highway in Cambridge.
The closure means that Green Line trolleys will end their runs at North Station in Boston. The Green Line’s Science Park/West End stop—the last in Boston before the run to Lechmere—will also shutter for the same time period. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation will run shuttle buses between the old Lechmere stop and North Station during the closures and construction.
It’s all for good causes. The Science Park/West End shutdown is for repairs to a Green Line viaduct; and the new Lechmere Station is supposed to be much more state-of-the-art than the current iteration, complete with elevators.
Commuter-rail barriers. Beginning during the first half of the year, commuter-rail operator Keolis is expected to start installing fare gates at North, Back Bay, and South stations—the busiest trio by ridership in the MBTA’s commuter-rail system. North Station is likely to be the first, per the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro.
It’s unclear exactly where the gates will go—maybe just beyond waiting areas—but they are likely to ebb the rush of riders hustling for trains.
Bus changes. The MBTA in late December rolled out route and/or schedule changes to dozens of bus routes throughout the region. The changes are part of what the agency calls its two-year-old Better Bus Project, a part of the MBTA’s overall $8 billion modernization push.
The changes have been designed to service demographic shifts in particular. Population density along some routes has ebbed, while it’s grown along others.