Friday, February 9, 2007

Extension of the MBTA #60 bus

Looks like the #60 bus has been extended (PDF) to add a new stop at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, just west of the new Bloomingdale's women's store. The new route eliminates the stop under the Route 9 overpass. (Tip from Adam Peller.)

I'm not a transit-junkie and don't pretend to have a grasp on the nuances of individual bus routes. It appears to me that the change corresponds to the Bloomingdale's women's store move. It used to stop near Bloomingdale's. Bloomingdale's moved. Now it stops near Bloomingdale's new location. Maybe it's just coincidence.

But, it does have some interesting implications for the Chestnut Hill Square project. One of the changes New England Development promised in the Final Environmental Impact Report was to work with the MBTA and the Mall at Chestnut Hill to extend the route. Check that one off the list.

The route change also bears on the pedestrian bridge. One possible use case supporting the bridge was people working or shopping at the Mall at Chestnut Hill and using the pedestrian bridge to get to the Chestnut Hill Square bus stop. This assumes that the bus would not stop on the north side of Route 9.

Unless the MBTA eliminates this new stop, that use case vanishes. And, there's nothing about the bus route, the proposed changes to Route 9, or the pedestrian bridge that suggests that the MBTA would or should change the route.

It doesn't make sense to me that they would eliminate a stop at the Mall at Chestnut Hill in favor of the proposed Chestnut Hill Square stop when getting from the Mall to the CHS stop would involve crossing the parking lot and the pedestrian bridge and then getting down a flight of steps or an elevator. Especially when eliminating the Mall stop only saves the loop through the Mall parking lot.

But, what do I know?

Note: Adam wonders why the bus, having negotiated the Langley jug-handle, doesn't stop at the Atrium. I suspect because they don't have the space in the driveway. Also, Simon has a new shuttle between the Atrium and the Mall at Chestnut Hill, making it possible for Atrium shoppers and workers to use the bus. (I wrote "shoppers and workers" because it seems proper to do so. But, seriously, who's taking the bus and a shuttle to shop at Tiffany's or get a Greta Cole manicure?)

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