Monday, November 22, 2010

Ride the AIRLINE - Single Seat Ride ORH to UMASS/Shrewsbury via Union Station

Proposed "Union Station - Fairlawn" Segment

Proposed "AIRLINE"

The idea of the Union Station - ORH bus rapid transit (BRT) system started as a way of getting people quickly and efficiently to/from ORH via downtown. However, as I thought more about it, it really also becomes a great opportunity to also connect and promote the development of a number of key Worcester neighborhoods, one example of which is the previous post about the Junction District.

This post builds on this idea of connecting Worcester's neighborhoods by extending the existing Union Station - ORH BRT line along the busy Shrewsbury St. corridor to the biotech and UMASS campuses and then along Route 9 into Shrewsbury. This proposed line, which I call the AIRLINE (a nod to the nickname for the old trolley line that formerly ran along Shrewsbury St. and Route 9 to Boston - apparently so called because it's route was a straight line between Worcester and Boston, much like an airline would take flying between the two cities) would provide for a single seat ride between ORH and the busy Shrewsbury Route 9 shopping corridor, serving Webster Square, Clark University/South Worcester, Junction District, Union Station, the Shrewsbury St. restaurant district, the biotech park and UMASS campuses and Lake Quinsigamond along the way.

The Union Station - Fairlawn leg as shown above is about 3.75 miles long, resulting in a total ORH - Fairlawn route length of approximately 10.25 miles. The Union Station - Fairlawn leg is envisioned to run along the existing Shrewsbury St. and Route 9 auto ROW, possibly with a priority lane/signal control and limited stops in order to provide fast service to/from Union Station.

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