Changes come to the Greater Boston public transit system
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) is expected to be putting 24 new Green Line cars into operation this September. In addition, those cars will have an increased capacity, even though they will have the same number of seats as the current MBTA cars (44 seats per car). They will have a ten percent higher capacity due to greater standing room. In addition, the Orange and Red Lines will be rolling out a total of 152 and 252 cars respectively between now and 2019.
You may have seen ads in the T stations that announce the MBTA’s new late bus schedule they will also be expanding late bus throughout Boston, designed to help accommodate lower-wage workers who work late nights. The MBTA has heavily advertised these new bus routes, as well as current routes that serve various parts of the city in the hours between midnight and 3:00 a.m.
These changes counteract a recent series of accusations of poor service on the T. While there has been much construction and many delays, particularly on the Red Line, over the past year, these changes are part of an initiative to make transit more efficient and help commuters arrive on time.
Natural Gas Explosions Hit Massachusetts
Large sections of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, MASS. communities about an hour north of Wellesley – were evacuated on the afternoon of the 13 after a series of unexplained gas pipe explosions and fires. One 18-year-old boy died, and at least 25 people were injured. Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency in those three communities, and it could take weeks to restore gas access completely. The total number of explosions was between 60 and 80, according to MEMA. A letter from MASS. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey said that the pressure in the natural gas pipes affected was 12 times what it should have been.
‘‘The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI-twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold,’’ the letter said, according to boston.com.
The Boston-area law firm Morgan and Morgan has announced that they will be filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the affected residents against Columbia Gas, the company that provides natural gas services to the area. Columbia Gas, for their part, has separately announced that they will be donating $10 million to the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.
Five Design Finalists Suggested for Boston’s Martin Luther King Memorial
MLK Boston, an organization founded by Paul Fischer, revealed on Sept. 18 a list of five design finalists for a major memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King on Boston Common. King, a one-time Boston resident, and his wife, Coretta Scott King, will both be honored in the memorial. An educational center honoring the lives of the Kings will also be built in Roxbury as part of the same project as the Boston Common memorial. King spent most of his time in Boston as a graduate student at Boston University in the 1950s, leaving in 1954 after he completed his Ph.D.
“Each one of these five proposals does a tremendous job of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King and their ideals, teachings and values,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “I look forward to hearing the public’s response to each proposal, and gathering their feedback on which project best exemplifies the profound impact the Kings had on the City of Boston.”
The designers are Hank Willis Thomas of MASS design group, Adam Pendleton in collaboration with Adjaye Associates and David Reinfurt, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Walter Hood with Mariyanne Thompson Architects and Wodiczko+Bonder and Yinka Shonibare. Some of the artists are local, while others come from far across the world, and while each design plan is distinct, they all share the goal of honoring Dr. King’s legacy in Boston.