News Briefs

Winthrop Partners with MBTA to Increase Access to CharlieCards

The MBTA announced an initiative with the Town of Winthrop to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation. CharlieCards now available at the Winthrop Public Library.

Under the initiative, free no-balance CharlieCards are available at the Winthrop Public Library located at 2 Metcalf Square, Winthrop. The Winthrop Public Library opening hours and holiday closing schedule can be found on their website.

 The Town of Winthrop joins a growing list of Cities and Towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards:

• The City of Chelsea partnered with the MBTA in January 2019 with CharlieCards pre-loaded with $5 as well as free no-balance CharlieCards available in the Treasury Office of Chelsea City Hall.

•  The Town of Watertown partnered with the MBTA in July 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available in Watertown Town Hall and the Watertown Free Public Library.

The City of Salem partnered with the MBTA in August 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at the Mayor Jean A. Levesque Community Life Center, Salem Public Library, and Salem’s Parking Department. 

CharlieCards available in the City of Lynn are also coming soon.

 “Thank you to the Town of Winthrop for partnering with the MBTA in helping us expand access to CharlieCards for our customers,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With the intent of increasing the availability of CharlieCards within the communities we serve, we hope this initiative allows the T to be even more accessible for MBTA customers so they can take advantage of lower fares available through the Charlie Card.” 

 “The Town of Winthrop is excited to provide the CharlieCards to the members of our community, and to those that are visiting,” said Winthrop Town Manager Austin Faison. “This is an example of Winthrop integrating more opportunities for individuals to engage with the MBTA and their regional public transportation network. The Town continues to explore multi-modal transportation and all that it can offer.”

 Unlike CharlieTickets, CharlieCards are reusable plastic cards that can be routinely loaded with stored cash value or one-day, seven-day, or monthly passes. As a way to encourage use of CharlieCards, cardholders pay lower single-ride fares on bus and subway services than customers who pay cash or hold a CharlieTicket. CharlieCards also offer enhanced options for transfers over tickets and cash.

CharlieCard availability has historically been concentrated around major rapid-transit hubs. Similarly, fare vending machines are clustered around rapid-transit stations. Under this initiative, the MBTA continues to acknowledge that access to cards needs to increase, especially in communities with a higher reliance on buses. 

 The MBTA hopes to partner with nonprofit organizations or cities and towns to provide residents with CharlieCards, either blank or pre-loaded with a dollar amount for purchase. By providing easier access to CharlieCards, the T hopes to incentivize riders to use CharlieCards and fare vending machines throughout their travels, resulting in a savings of both time and money. Organizations and communities seeking to partner in this effort should contact MBTA Chief Customer Officer Danny Levy at [email protected] 

For more information on CharlieCards, visit mbta.com/CharlieCard or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA.

Senate Hallway Art Exhibit

Winthrop Arts Association Artists Reception will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 2-4 p.m. at the State House in Boston in the Senate Chamber Hallway.

There will be works from  21 member artists. The exhibit is open during regular State House hours. 

Enjoy a multi-media exhibit representing Senator Boncore’s district (Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Boston) in all its splendor.

New Incentive For Passengers Who Take Water Transportation to Logan Airport

 Passengers who take water transportation to Boston Logan International Airport will now get priority access at the airport security line. This new incentive is part of Massport’s commitment to encourage more passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicles (HOVs) to the airport and reduce congestion.

 Under the plan announced during the Massport Board of Directors’ monthly meeting, passengers who take the MBTA ferry or water taxi service to the Logan Airport Boat Dock will be given a “Ticket to Skip” pass when they board a free Logan Airport shuttle to the terminals. The orange ticket must be presented to the security checkpoint staff in order to get preferred lane access and move ahead of the line. The MBTA ferry and the water taxis run year round and serve the Boston waterfront as well as Hingham and Hull.

This new incentive program builds on the success of the Back Bay Logan Express (LEX), which was the first HOV service to provide the airport security priority access to passengers. Since the passenger perk began on May 1st,  total ridership of Back Bay LEX has more than doubled to nearly 98,000, from over 45,000 during the same 4-month period last year. The fee was also reduced and a ride from Back Bay to Logan is now $3, and FREE from Logan to Back Bay.

Logan Express offers four suburban locations in Braintree, Framingham, Woburn, and Peabody. By next year, LEX service will also be available for commuters at North Station with connections to the MBTA’s Green and Orange lines, and the Commuter Rail. Other LEX locations are also being considered. Massport’s goal is to double HOV ridership to 4 million annually.

 For more information on the various ways how to get to and from Logan, please go to www.massport.com/logan-airport/to-from-logan/

Temporary Ban of All Vaping Products

Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth.

Effective immediately, the State of Massachusetts has banned all vaping and e-cigarette products – including tobacco and cannabis products – from being sold until Jan. 25, 2020.  This ban is in response to recent cases of respiratory illness that are connected to vaping/e-cigarette products and will allow the medical community to further investigate the causes of such illnesses.  As of Sept.23, 61 possible cases of respiratory illness have been linked to vaping/e-cigarette products in Massachusetts.

The Winthrop Board of Health and the Winthrop Department of Public Health & Clinical Services will be providing further guidance in the coming days as more information becomes available from the MA Department of Public Health.  Retailers are not allowed to sell any e-cigarette or vaping products, in the Town of Winthrop until this ban expires.  For more information, please contact the Winthrop Public Health & Clinical Services Department at 617-846-1852 x1061.  

MCU Announces Free Financial Education Seminar Series

Robert Cashman, President and CEO of Metro Credit Union (MCU), is pleased to announce the continuation of Metro’s complimentary financial education seminar series focusing on investments and homebuying. The seminars will be held through November 12 at Metro branches and other convenient locations. A component of Metro’s ongoing financial education programming, the seminar series provides in-class instruction and activities to credit union and community members throughout the area. By continuing to host financial education seminars, the credit union demonstrates its commitment to providing the services and tools individuals need to feel more informed and confident in their financial decisions.

 The Social Security seminar will discuss the “rules of the road” for receiving Social Security benefits, ways to maximize benefits, the future of Social Security, and setting up a retirement income stream. Multiple First Time Homebuyer seminars will educate participants on homebuying basics, financing options, and the step-by-step process—from pre-approval through closing.

“The seminar series has been a great success, and we are very excited to continue our robust financial wellness programing throughout the remainder of 2019,” says Charlene Bauer, Chief Development Officer, SVP Outreach and Advocacy. “These events demonstrate our dedication to educating our members and the community about a variety of financial topics. Purchasing a home and retiring from the workforce are major milestones in a person’s life, and it’s important to approach these landmark financial occasions with knowledge and support.” 

For a full schedule of seminars, please visit metrocu.org/about/events.

In addition to the seminar series, Metro offers free financial wellness resources year-round on MetroCU.org, in partnership with the leading education technology company EverFi, Inc. MoneySense is an online program featuring short, interactive financial education courses to help users manage their money and prepare for a secure financial future. The program features interactive courses designed for different age groups, from grade school courses designed to teach financial literacy in a child’s cognitive development, to adult programming focused on financing higher education, home ownership, retirement, and more.

Coulter Earns Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence at Colgate University

Sophia Coulter, a member of the Colgate University Class of 2020, has earned the spring 2019 Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Coulter is from Winthrop, and is a graduate of Singapore American School

Students who receive a term grade point average of 3.3 or higher while completing at least three courses earn the spring 2019 Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Colgate is a leading American university for students who want classes with rigor, faculty with passion, and confidence in knowing they will learn how to thrive in work and life. Colgate offers 56 majors and supports 25 Division I athletic teams on a campus of about 2,900 students in central New York.

Yard Waste Drop Off Facility Update

The Department of Public Works reports that the clean out work from July microburst  that downed many trees was started on Thursday of last week.  The crews were able to process and remove about 60 percent of the storm related debris pile over the course of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Work resumed on Monday with the haul out operation for the remainder of the storm debris and will begin removal of the accumulated yard waste immediately thereafter.

The DPW anticipates to safely re-open the facility next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5.   

The haul-out process will continue between Monday and Thursday once the facility is re-opened as to not interfere with residential drop off or create an unsafe situation with heavy equipment.

The yard waste drop off facility will be open will be open during regularly scheduled hours through Dec. 7.

The regular scheduled hours for the facility are:

•       Fridays from 9 AM – 12 PM and 3 – 6 PM

•       Saturdays 9 AM – 12 PM and 1 – 3 PM.

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