Residents expressed concern over how the closure would affect their daily commutes after the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced it would be closing the Government Center station for a two-year renovation project.
On weekdays, more than 11,300 commuters make use of the station, according to the MBTA’s online “Ridership and Service Statistics” document. A major hub for tourists and workers, the station is heavily frequented by commuters and people transferring from the Green and Blue Lines.
During the renovation, trains will pass through but will not stop at Government Center, according to an article in The Boston Globe Saturday.
To lessen the inconvenience, the MBTA has created a special bus route that will stop at Government Center, Haymarket and State Street stations, according to the Globe. However, to accommodate riders, these buses will have to run smoothly and efficiently.
In spite of the inconvenience to riders, renovation of Government Center is necessary. Navigating through the current station with a suitcase, not to imagine in a wheelchair, is incredibly challenging. Steep escalators and several flights of stairs put many at risk.
The new design will make the station more accessible to people of all abilities, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo stated in an email to The Daily Free Press. Specifically, the City Hall plaza and Cambridge Street entrance will be reconstructed to improve accessibility. The Green and Blue Line platforms will also be renovated.
While this news is reassuring, hopefully the needs of the disabled are addressed not only in the final product, but during the entire shuttle bus process.
Some sort of assistance will have to be provided for those in wheelchairs or have difficulty walking as traveling the extra distance to one of the bus stops might prove challenging.
Closing Government Center for two years might come as an inconvenience, but if that is the time it takes to create a more accessible station, then riders will have to endure it. Hopefully, construction moves swiftly and riders are able to make use of the new station as soon as possible.