By Katy Rogers
The state Department of Transportation (MassDOT) held an open forum for the Everett Transit Action Plan on Monday evening, Nov. 16, at the Connolly Center.
During the meeting, the public was welcome to give direct input on how public transportation can be improved throughout the city and surrounding communities by pointing out locations on maps, bringing topics up for discussion, and sharing what the priorities should be for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation from the perspective of those who use it.
Present throughout the event, Mayor Carlo DeMaria expressed he was pleased with the willingness of the administration from MassDOT for listening to Everett’s concerns, sharing, “We have the advantage of geography. However, we are the only urban community that is not linked into the transit system.”
MassDOT stated they often hear concerns about Everett’s lack of ease in public transportation for such a well-populated city within the Greater Boston area. The mayor added that he looks forward to continuing communication with MassDOT as this discussion will ultimately improve the quality of life for all residents.
When the floor was opened for inquiries, issues brought up by members of the community included concerns regarding accessibility to bus stops for elderly and disabled citizens, overcrowded buses, and the need for a higher frequency of buses on popular routes.
MassDOT believes that these issues can be resolved, and is conducting in-depth research to solve them, which was shared during a presentation.
“This is part of a much bigger process we’re doing, particularly for the MBTA. We need to be a great transit system,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollock said.
During the gathering Mayor DeMaria and Secretary Pollack recognized Everett High School students and their teachers, Matt Laidlaw and Evan DeMarzo, for a video they created that emphasized safe methods of traveling.
The video recently won second place out of 90 submissions in a statewide competition titled ‘Safe Streets. Smart Trips.