North Reading Public Transit Shuttle Study

Do you live and/or work in North Reading?

Background

The Town of North Reading requested MAPC conduct a study of options to create a shuttle linking North Reading to nearby commuter rail stations. Previous studies that recognized North Reading’s need for better transit include the Town 2004 Master Plan, which identified a lack of public transportation and paratransit as a problem in the Town; a recent survey conducted by the Boston North Regional Coordinating Council which identified North Reading as having particularly difficult transportation challenges, and a 2017 North Reading senior and paratransit study. Additionally, the North Suburban Planning Council through MAPC completed in 2017 a suburban mobility study to address the transportation needs of all residents. This study is funded through $15,000 of funds from a Community Compact grant awarded to the Town.

Objective

This feasibility study will look at options for a shuttle connecting a satellite park and ride lot in North Reading with MBTA commuter rail service in Wilmington, Woburn or Reading. The purpose of the shuttle would be to better connect the residents of North Reading to MBTA services, while also potentially connecting workers to jobs in North Reading. Finally, a shuttle service could provide access to commuter rail stations where parking would not otherwise be available to North Reading residents.

The study will examine the existing commuting trends for North Reading, to determine whether the data show that connecting to commuter rail via satellite parking site might be warranted now or be needed in future. The study will also evaluate locations in North Reading for a park and ride lot, based upon information such as ownership, possible lease, and maintenance costs, distance to commuter rail and overall accessibility for the town residents. The study will include a range of potential ridership, based upon similar satellite shuttles operations in the Boston region.

Recent Updates

An online survey of residents and workers in North Reading was completed as part of this study. The study findings and recommendations will be released in July 2019.