MBTA bus image

The MBTA’s bus network is expected to soon reflect the region’s current travel needs and create a better bus ridership experience for current and future riders.

Melissa Dullea, MBTA senior director of service planning, on  Aug. 9 presented to the Select Board an update of the MBTA’s bus network redesign. A network redesign serves the same neighborhoods and streets, but connects them in different ways to make a network that is better for riders.

“We’re looking to achieve better frequency, service that’s reliable, and a network that’s easy to use,” said Dullea.

“This redesign will produce a more equitable network that better serves transit-critical populations, a network that’s simpler and easier to understand, more service on high-frequency corridors, better connections to major local and regional destinations, and focus on all-day service with more buses in the midday, evenings and weekends to reflect the new reality of work,” added Dullea.

Select Board members unanimously received this presentation.

Board member Eric Helmuth said, “We need to reduce the number of car trips due to the climate crisis, especially for people currently not using the MBTA, but would, if we make it easier for them to get where they need to go.”

“Change can be hard, but done the right way, can lead to improvements. I’m excited to see what suggestions we town leaders and residents can come up with,” said board member John Hurd.

Symmes Memorial Fund continues to aid town medical needs

The Select Board unanimously authorized the Symmes Memorial Fund to use the distribution of funds remaining from Symmes Hospital’s dissolution to further its purpose of aiding medical uses in Arlington.

“Until 1994, Arlington had a community hospital, Symmes Hospital. However, community hospitals fell by the wayside due to Medicare reimbursements and the proximity to Boston’s teaching hospitals," explained John Maher, Symmes Memorial Fund chairman.  

“In 2001, the town and Lahey were asked to establish a Symmes Memorial Fund committee. This committee, with an endowment of approximately $3 million, made grants to nonprofits, generally for medically related uses.

“In 2008, Lahey and Arlington decided that $1 million would be under the town’s control, $1 million under Lahey’s control, and $1 million to be held by Lahey to defray the costs of Symmes’s pensions and/or retention of medical records. 

“Lahey [now Beth Israel/Lahey] now says that the $1 million for the purpose of pensions and medical records has been fulfilled, and proposes that half of that money goes to the Symmes Memorial Fund and the other half to Beth Israel/Lahey.

“I request a modification of the original dissolution order, to permit the distribution of these funds,” said Maher, and the board agreed.

$162,225 sewer bond sold to MWRA 

The board unanimously approved the $162,225 sale of a sewer bond to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).

Phyllis Marshall, Arlington’s treasurer and collector of taxes, said, “This bond is for an interest-free loan portion for the reconstruction of Arlington’s sewer system and related facilities. There’s also a grant from the MWRA in the amount of $486,675 for 75 percent of that project, for the overall estimated project cost of $648,900.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us, it’s a free loan,” added Marshall.

Dec. 28, 2020: MBTA to bank U.S. relief funds; town details Arlington cuts

This news summary by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert was published Friday, Aug. 20, 2021