Blue Line Free Fares Part Of Sumner Mitigation Efforts

By Adam Swift

The Blue Line will be free for all commuters this summer as part of efforts to mitigate the additional traffic expected with the closure of the Sumner Tunnel for repairs in July and August.

The Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project will offer a variety of mitigation options for individuals coming from all travel points, including free trips on the MBTA Blue Line for the during the tunnel’s closure; free and reduced cost water ferry options; reduced Commuter Rail fares for riders; reduced parking costs at MBTA and Commuter Rail parking lots and garages; discounted tolls for residents; and additional options for travelers to and from Logan Airport, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

In addition to providing the East Boston Ferry as a free transit option, the MBTA has added a new ferry service between Lynn and Central Wharf in Boston to provide an additional transit option during the Sumner Tunnel closure.

In a meeting with the Revere City Council on Monday night, MassDOT officials also noted that there will be reduced rates for the Winthrop Ferry for the duration of the full closure, which is scheduled for July 5 through August 31.

“I am thrilled to see free fares along the Blue Line during the full closure of Sumner Tunnel this summer,” said state Senator Lydia Edwards. “Thank you to all who made this crucial service available during such an important time, including Governor Maura Healey, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca, my colleagues at the State House, the MBTA, and MassDOT. Along with reduced fares for ferry services throughout Winthrop, East Boston, and North Boston, and an extra ferry stop at Logan Airport, this mitigation strategy will help countless commuters in my district get to where they need to go.”

These are preliminary measures and MassDOT and the MBTA will continue to consider additional mitigation options as well as new and innovative approaches to modes of transportation, according to MassDOT officials. Revere officials have pushed to have the state temporarily halt the dedicated MBTA bus lane on the Tobin Bridge this summer, but there has been no final decision made on that potential measure.

“We know the closure of the Sumner Tunnel will be a daily impact to those living, working, and traveling in this region,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “The Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project is a crucial investment in transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth, and we are working hard to provide as many mitigation measures as possible to those impacted. I want to thank our partners for their efforts in creating mitigation options while this work is ongoing, and our residents and travelers for their willingness to explore alternative travel options over the next two months.”

Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said that since launching the Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project last year, the highway department has been working closely with its partners to identify any and all mitigation measures it can put in place.

“I’m pleased that together with MassDOT, the MBTA is able to offer free Blue Line service to those impacted by the Sumner Tunnel closure this summer,” said MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng. “The MBTA has been working hard to reduce travel times on the Blue Line in anticipation of this project. We have the capacity needed on the Blue Line to serve our existing and new customers on this line, and I encourage those who can to take advantage of this free service in July and August.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.