As part of the Silver Line Gateways Alternatives Analysis, MassDOT developed and presented Three Build Alternatives and summarized them in the Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF). In all of the proposed alternatives, the new Silver Line service would depart from South Station and mirror the existing Silver Line service in the Seaport District. It would reach East Boston via the Williams Tunnel to the Blue Line Airport Station. From there, vehicles would enter the Coughlin Bypass Road and then cross the new Chelsea Street Bridge into Chelsea. Within Chelsea, MassDOT evaluated and compared two basic route choices:
1. Busway alternatives that would move more quickly and reliably in a dedicated alignment right-of-way, with an option to serve Bellingham Square;
2. On-Street alternatives that would use Central Avenue to reach Bellingham Square with a variety of ways to speed up the service, including transit signal priority and dedicated bus lanes in key locations.
The Preferred Alternative, the Busway to Mystic Mall Alternative, would direct Silver Line buses to a new exclusive busway on the former railroad right-of-way after crossing the Chelsea Street Bridge and entering the Massport employee parking garage bus loop off of Central Avenue. This alternative includes four proposed BRT stations in Chelsea: Eastern Avenue Station, Box District Station, Downtown Chelsea Station, and Mystic Mall Station.
The graphics below depict the study area; the preferred alternative route; and a sample station (Box District).
Proprosed project elements