Bus Contract Top Priority for Transportation Comm

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

It’s only been around for the past two months but the Transportation Advisory Committee is focused on its mission. The committee gave an update and an introduction of themselves to the Town Council Monday night.

One of the biggest things the committee will be working on with Town officials is the MBTA contract for the bus line currently operated by the Paul Revere bus line. The contract expires June 30. There is currently a request for proposals for the service. But this is also the time that the committee plans to be working on the actual bus route and stops. There was even talk of trying to extend the bus route to Beachmont.  Councilor Linda Calla asked if it might even be extended to the shopping area near Suffolk Downs.

Committee member Julia Wallerace said the new provider will be MBTA branded with GPS tracking. Riders can also use their MBTA Charlie Card in town and anywhere in the regional system. She noted that routes will also be subject to change with the new contract.

The vision of the committee includes tackling transportation issues from the bus line to bicycles and the transit system to walking. The committee will also be looking at the old Winthrop Walks plans, the Belle Isle Walkway and parking. Water transportation is also another area the committee is interested in helping with.

“We’re here to see what’s here and to see how we can help,” said Wallerace. “We’re looking to reconnect Winthrop.”

The town pays $400,000 a year to the MBTA to be part of their system.

The committee also includes Chris Aiello, Jerry Falbo, and Stephen Hines. The committee is seeking at least one other member.

In other business:

  • Winthrop Boy Scouts from Troop 75 attended the meeting as part of their work on a merit badge in citizenship.
  • The council transferred $20,864 to replace the security alarm panel.
  • The council approved a transfer of $29,906 for police cell block repairs.

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