As Quincy residents, we know our gem of a city is an increasingly attractive location to set up home and business. Our robust public transportation services are part of the attraction, with the MBTA Red Line running through the spine of Quincy providing access to all parts of our city and allowing folks to avoid Route 93 and the Neponset bridge during commuter hours. The bridge can take over 30 minutes to cross in the morning…worth checking out our local yoga classes to calm those nerves!
This past year the MBTA announced major renovation projects are planned for all four Quincy Red Line stations, with many of these occurring simultaneously.
What should you expect for your commute? Here’s a round up of what’s coming.
At Wollaston station the MBTA is preparing for a major renovation scheduled to begin in January 2018 to provide accessibility to riders of all abilities and to address flooding issues. At Quincy Center, the MBTA plans to demolish the long-shuttered parking garage, while the garage at Quincy Adams is set to be renovated. At the North Quincy station parking lot, a private development team is planning stores, apartments, and a new parking garage. In addition, the Braintree garage and lobby will also undergo renovations.
State Senator John Keenan has formed an 11-person Citizens Advisory Committee to make sure the concerns of commuters and residents are heard and responded to by the MBTA. The senator also provides updates on the topic in a dedicated Red Line Updates section of his website.
Recent community meetings
- November 15, 2017, 6:30 p.m.: Wollaston Station Improvement Project Public Meeting at Quincy Central Middle School Auditorium, 875 Hancock St., Quincy, MA
- View the meeting, courtesy QATV video.
- Read the Patriot Ledger coverage of the meeting.
Wollaston Station renovation (2018–2020)
- November 12, 2017: starting this date, Red Line service between North Quincy and Braintree Stations will be replaced with shuttle buses from 9 p.m. through the end of service, Sundays through Thursdays
- January 8, 2018: Wollaston Station is scheduled to close for 20 months [updated from original plan of Jan 2]
- A shuttle bus will transport Wollaston commuters (appx 4,600 daily on weekdays) to the North Quincy Red Line station during construction, some parking remains available at Wollaston station
- Summer 2019: anticipated opening, with finishing work continuing through 2020
- Stay up to date on project plans and details on the MBTA site; contact the MBTA with wuestions at 617-222-3200
- View the June 2017 presentation which outlines mitigation strategies
Major accessibility improvements, state-of-the-art safety features, and parking lot site improvements are some of the enhancements to be made during the project renovating Wollaston Station. Currently the only non ADA-accessible station on the Red Line, Wollaston will be transformed into a modern, fully accessible facility, making the entirety of the Red Line 100% accessible. During the closure, Red Line trains will continue passing through Wollaston Station without stopping.
New features and upgrades to the station include 3 brand new elevators, 2 new escalators, and additional customer paths to / from the new station (including accessible entrances on Newport Ave and from the parking lot), including 2 additional stairways, new bathrooms, and energy efficient lighting. New electrical, fire protection, security, flooding mitigation, and site utility upgrades will also occur to support the accessible improvements.
Quincy Center Station Garage demolition
- Project information
- Current schedule projection is for a start in early 2018
The garage at Quincy Center has reportedly deteriorated beyond the point of repair and the MBTA plans to demolish three levels of the five-level garage that has been shuttered since 2012 due to safety concerns. The project also includes replacement of the existing elevator and addition of an accessible entrance at Burgin Parkway. Duration is expected to be 18 months once demolition begins. While the station will remain open during construction, at times the elevator use will be unavailable and shuttles will transport riders to Quincy Adams where elevator use will remain available.
The T hopes that the Quincy Center work will make way for a mixed-use development at the site and will put out a request for interested developers.
North Quincy station plans
At North Quincy station, plans are in development to construct a $205 million mixed-use complex, including a new parking garage, housing, and retail space.This work is reported to begin in 2018.
Quincy Adams and Braintree stations
Quincy Adams will be under construction for three years and three months. Parking space availability will be minimally impacted at these stations during construction.
Upgrades are planned at both the Quincy Adams and Braintree parking garages. Renovations to the garages at these stations will improve accessibility, and provide for more efficient and improved parking layout. Included are structural repairs, replaced drainage systems, upgraded fire alarm, electrical, and emergency power systems, and full replacement of lighting systems. Accessibility upgrades include two new elevators at Braintree Garage as well as improvements to both garages in wayfinding signage and better traffic circulation for accessibility vehicles, wheelchair access, and pedestrian movement. Construction of both garages is anticipated to begin in early 2018. Both garages will remain in service during the construction period.
How about parking?
The impacts of these renovations on parking availability is a real concern. The Wollaston lot currently offers 538 spaces. The Globe reported that, during construction at Wollaston, 115 spaces will be occupied by construction equipment. Parking will remain available and a shuttle bus will transport riders to North Quincy station. At North Quincy station 350 parking spaces are planned to remain open once construction begins there, down from 852 spaces currently available. Once the year-long project is complete, parking space availability is planned to return to 852.
The Globe reported in April that the MBTA is exploring different options to mitigate the parking squeeze, including using the Department of Conservation and Recreation parking lot in Squantum Point, or using North Quincy High School’s lot during the summer.
What are the commuting alternatives?
Check out your MBTA options using the MBTA trip planner tool.
Head for the water! A sea route may be our best option. Check out the new ferry running from Marina Bay. Local officials hope to bring full-time ferry service to Squantum Point Park and are testing out routes and schedules and observing ridership to inform a long-term plan and viability of the route.
- Destinations: Ferries bring riders to Seaport/Fan Pier, Rowes Wharf, and Winthrop
- Schedule: start at 7:25 AM – 10:35 AM; with evening return trips leaving Winthrop and Boston starting at 3 PM and arriving in Quincy at 5 PM – 6:45 PM
- Cost: $6–9 one way with discounts available for seniors, kids, and commuter packages
- See the full schedule and purchase tickets online
- Parking available at the DCR lot at Squantum Point Park. Rates are $1.25 per hour with a maximum of $5 for a full day. No charge for parking under an hour.
- MBTA will discount Quincy commuter rail rides during Wollaston closure; Boston Globe, December 7, 2017
- T plans January start for Quincy Center garage demolition; Patriot Ledger, November 10, 2017
- MBTA sets date for 20-month Wollaston station closure: Jan. 2; Patriot Ledger, October 31, 2017
- How much pain can Red Line commuters endure?; Boston Globe, April 2017
- MBTA has plans to rehab Quincy stations — maybe all at once; Boston Globe, March 2017