Needham/Newton Rail Right-of-Way Transit Concept

Working with the Town of Needham and the City of Newton, MAPC has developed a concept of operations for providing a transit service on an un-used MBTA rail right-of-way (RoW). The municipalities want to better understand if the RoW could be used to provide a shuttle service to serve future growth and economic development in the area along Needham Street in Newton and Highland Avenue and the New England Business Center in Needham.

MAPC consulted with the 128 Business Council to explore the possibility of a rapid shuttle service in conjunction with bicycle and/or pedestrian uses that could provide connections to transit and other trails in the area. The goals of this study are to identify the characteristics and assumptions of this potential transit service and to explore how it might operate alongside bicycle and pedestrian uses. If the city and town are interested in moving forward with this concept, additional studies would need to be conducted to determine the overall feasibility, engineering needs, and cost of providing this service.

This project was undertaken with funds from Forterra and the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance from US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Technical Assistance Grant program.

Download the Needham/Newton Rail Right-of-Way Transit Concept below.