Bus stop changes now slated for fall

Changes to the MBTA’s Route 39 bus stops originally slated for this summer—including much wider sidewalks and the elimination of some stops—are now pegged for sometime this fall, according to the MBTA’s website.

MBTA and City of Boston officials did not respond to Gazette requests for updates on the long-delayed project.

“Design engineering work is now underway, with construction anticipated in Fall 2011,” says an MBTA.com page updated last month.

The last public meeting was three months ago, where there was praise for some proposed amenities, such as bus shelters and bike racks. There was also controversy over the proposed elimination of some stops near medical facilities and local businesses, and a general lack of public input.

One proposed stop elimination is on South Street at Carolina Avenue and Custer Street. The Harvest Co-op Market there opposes the move and said that the MBTA never asked its opinion in three years of planning.

MBTA project manager Erik Scheier pledged in March to talk with Harvest. But that still hasn’t happened, according to store manager Mike St. Clair.

“We have not been contacted by the MBTA,” St. Clair told the Gazette last week. “Hopefully, they will consider the needs of our customers and other local businesses when making any decisions.”

The bus stop changes are intended to speed service while making the stops fully accessible and more comfortable. They would affect most stops on the route, which runs between the Forest Hills and Back Bay stations.

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