Photo: The future of the Waverley Station remains up in the air.
The MBTA has rejected plans to construct a modern commuter rail station along South Pleasant Street to replace the century-old stop in Waverley Square, State Sen. Will Brownsberger told the Belmontonian this afternoon, Friday, Jan. 22.
“They heard the concerns from commuters and residents and have abandoned the idea,” said Brownsberger.
In a subsequent note on his web page, Brownsberger said the “MBTA was able to report today that they have concluded categorically that they will not pursue a new station located between Waverley and Belmont Center.”
The decision comes after residents and town officials at a Nov. 16 public meeting with MBTA officials voice considerable opposition to the plan initially presented to Belmont in September to construct a $20 million state near the North America Central School Bus depot at 1000 Pleasant St., a few hundred feet from Star Market.
The MBTA advanced the new station plan as a solution to a decision by the state’s Architectural Access Board that earlier ordered the transportation authority to improve access to the Waverley Square commuter rail station in the near future which would allow handicap citizens to take public transportation.
But today’s decision does not assure the future operation of a Waverley Square station, which is currently in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act access requirements.
With the estimated cost of a Waverley Station upgrade – which lies several dozen feet below the street grade and would require – at $35 million, and with less than 120 passengers using the station on weekdays, closing the station remains a possibility.
However, said Brownsberger, “they are still working on defining the options for Waverley station itself given the requirements of the AAB.”
“The MBTA is going over its capital budget and we will know within a month,” said Brownsberger.
“The MBTA has been devoting considerable attention to internal conversations about how to resolve the questions created by the AAB’s ruling related to Waverley,” said Brownsberger on his web page.