Photo: The Waverley Station.
It’s not used by many riders, it’s difficult to get around and it’s in need of a great deal of maintenance. And that’s what the MBTA says about Waverley Station, which runs the commuter rail station in the heart of Belmont’s Waverley Square.
But it now appears that all of Waverley Station’s shortcomings are the major factors which will allow the Fitchburg Line stop to remain open for the next decade, according to Belmont State Sen. Will Brownsberger.
In an e-mail announcement dated Tuesday, June 14, the state’s Architectural Access Board – which in 2014 deemed the station a liability for people with limited access to use the facility – has given the MBTA a 10-year time variance before needed repairs or a new station is required to improve accessibility for riders.
The announcement came after nearly a year in which the MBTA actively sought to close down the nearly century-old station and create a new stop along South Pleasant Street. That plan was deemed unacceptable by many residents surrounding Waverley Square and the MBTA dropped that plan earlier in the year.
In its decision, the AAB in a letter to the MBTA noted that since the Waverley Station has some of the lowest ridership numbers in the system – only 117 daily passengers arrive or depart from the stop – the board is placing higher priority on improvements at 69 stations and bus stops with much higher use. It also cited a cost of $15 million to $30 million to bring the station up to AAB standards
“[D]ue to the low ridership and high cost to create access, Waverley Station is not considered a ‘priority station’,” read the letter from the AAB to the MBTA explaining the 10 year variance.