Officials Encourage Residents To Take Free Transportation on the ‘T’

By Cary Shuman

With the Sumner Tunnel closed for repairs until Aug. 31, state officials are encouraging area residents to use the MBTA’s Blue Line, which is free of charge, along with other alternatives of public transportation. State Transportation Secretary Gina Fiandaca, an East Boston resident, Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, State Sen. Lydia Edwards, and Rep. Adrian Madaro appeared at a July 6 news conference outside Orient Heights ‘T’ station in East Boston, asking commuters to “ditch the drive” and take public transportation during the tunnel’s closure to traffic. “We really want people to know the best way [taking public transportation] to get into Boston during the Sumner Tunnel closure is not only good for their wallet, but for the planet,” said Driscoll. Fiandaca said officials have been monitoring traffic patterns daily, including in the cities of Revere and Chelsea. “We know that a lot of folks will choose to take the Tobin Bridge, as opposed to the Ted Williams [Tunnel],” she said. “We think all of those alternatives are out there to help people plan their trip on the Mass511 App. If you do need to get to points south of the city, that App is also there to help you.” Driscoll said she usually takes public transportation at least once a week. “I think I’ll be doing it more. This is a great way to get into Boston. If you have not taken the ferry in to Boston – either from Lynn, Salem, Winthrop, or East Boston – there’s no better way, and we hope that people will do even after the Tunnel is [reopened].” Rep. Adrian Madaro said, “With the Sumner closed for the next several weeks, traffic is as bad as it’s ever been, and it won’t get better unless we limit the number of cars on the road. As Eastie residents, this is the time to take advantage of the free Blue Line and Ferry whenever possible. The tunnel closure comes with certain unavoidable paints, but together, we can reduce congestion on our streets. Ditch the drive and choose public transit when you can.” Following the news conference, Driscoll, Fiandaca, Edwards, and Madaro boarded the Blue Line train for the ride to the Government Center ‘T’ stop

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