City Councilor Kenzie Bok and residents gathered at the MBTA #55 bus stop at Jersey St. and Queensbury streets on Sunday, the first day that service was suspended on the line.
“The Councilor, residents, and neighborhood groups are demanding that the MBTA reinstate the bus line in time for the summer schedule,” according to a press release from Bok’s office.
“This decision by the Governor and the MBTA is harmful to residents, especially seniors, those with mobility challenges, and those without access to a car, who rely on the #55 bus to get to important resources within and outside of their neighborhood. Treating public transit as a business, rather than a public good, is short-sighted and will have harmful implications on our neighbors, our City, and our planet,” the release continues.
Bok and residents have previously spoken out about the importance of this bus route to the Fenway community, especially during and following the pandemic as a way to get to essential places like doctor’s appointments.
At Mayor Walsh’s most recent press conference on March 15, Congressman Stephen Lynch said that there is a “targeted increase [in funding] for the MBTA” as part of the federal American Rescue Act, and that he and other state lawmakers are hoping to discuss these issues further with Governor Baker and with the MBTA.
“Our community depends on the #55 bus line,” Bok told the Sun in a statement. “There are seniors, veterans, folks living with HIV/AIDS, and other people with mobility challenges that cannot physically get to the Green Line or Orange Line stops. They rely on the #55 to get them everywhere, including to healthcare, basic services, and community gatherings. We can’t have our neighbors continue to be isolated after such a hard and lonely year for so many, when they’re just now getting vaccinated and eager to finally meaningfully engage with their community again. Sunday was the 1st day of the suspension. Our intention to be back in the Fenway at Queensberry and Jersey for a brief protest at the same 5:30 time every Sunday for the next several weeks until the MBTA puts the #55 back on the summer schedule, because we need this bus.”