Navy Yard Getting New Hubway Station, Shuttle
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network will be offering an "express" bus line to the new hospital and is sponsoring a nearby bike share station.
The Charlestown Navy Yard will be getting a new Hubway station and a new bus shuttle thanks to an agreement with Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
The new public transit options are part of the nonprofit organization's efforts to mitigate the impact of the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on the surrounding neighborhood and were announced at a community meeting held Monday, Feb. 25.
“We heard the concerns from residents about what traffic was going to look like coming into the hospital with employees in the morning, patients and visitors,” Spaulding spokeswoman Rebecca Kaiser said.
The resulting transportation plan seeks to minimize the hospital’s impact on the community and add new benefits that everyone can take advantage of, Kaiser said.
To start with, the hospital will be directing all car traffic to the site to enter and exit off Chelsea Street through Gate 6 at 16th Street, to minimize traffic through the Navy Yard.
The hospital will encourage employees to take advantage of public transportation through a continued subsidy of employee MBTA passes, by promoting the use of local bus and ferry options during employee orientations and by adding to Partners HealthCare’s existing free Navy Yard shuttle service with a new “Spaulding Express” line, also free, that will offer nonstop service from North Station to the new Spaulding Hospital.
The current Partners HealthCare/MGH shuttle runs Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. and makes three stops in the Navy Yard about every 15 minutes. The shuttle also runs on the weekends, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily but not on holidays, Kaiser said.
A new bus stop will be constructed on Third Avenue, behind the Building 199 parking garage, and the new Spaulding Express will pick up and drop off at that location only, with express service to North Station. The new shuttle will run during peak commuter hours, Monday through Friday from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., weekends from 6-9 a.m. and on holidays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Kaiser said. The Express will make runs about every 7-10 minutes.
The shuttle will also use Gate 6 at 16th Street to avoid adding traffic to the rest of the Navy Yard, Kaiser said.
The Spaulding Express line is expected to be operational when the new hospital officially opens for business, this April.
To further encourage use of public transportation, Spaulding will sponsor a new Hubway bike sharing station, to be located off the new hospital’s driveway. A pad has already been set up for the new station, and Kaiser said she expects it will be open and operational by the time Hubway stations across the city open for the season, or by the hospital’s opening (around April 27) at the latest.
As for parking, Spaulding has arranged for at least 150 employees to do a parking swap with MGH employees, giving their parking spaces at the former Spaulding Hospital site on Nashua Street to MGH employees and taking those employees’ spots in the Building 199 garage, Kaiser said. That arrangement, along with the addition of 203 parking spaces located beneath the new hospital and the new public transit options, are expected to meet all of Spaulding’s parking needs.
Members of the Charlestown Neighborhood Council who attended the meeting on Monday voted unanimously in favor of Spaulding’s transportation and parking plan.
“The community and the council have been pushing very hard for a comprehensive plan that addresses transportation to Spaulding and I think that they have done a very good job developing that plan. Particularly with the addition of a new shuttle, I think it will make a tremendous difference to the community,” CNC Development Committee chairman Mark Rosenshein said.
Spaulding is expected to relocate patients to the new hospital on Saturday, April 27. A community open house is scheduled for Sunday, April 21 from 1-5 p.m.