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May 16, 2019

MetroWest bus routes set for further expansion

Photo | Grant Welker The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority is scheduled to begin shuttles for the Natick company MathWorks starting June 3.

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority has expanded bus routes in the past decade to Hudson, Natick and Wellesley, and to places like the Woodland MBTA station in Newton.

Now, the MWRTA is adding a Route 20 shuttle between Target in Marlborough and the Riverside MBTA station, the final stop on the T's Green Line. A shuttle for Natick software company MathWorks, which has two Route 9 campuses, is being added, with service along Route 9 in Natick and Framingham to the area of Framingham's Jefferson Hills apartment complex.

The MathWorks route is scheduled to go into effect June 3, and the Route 20 shuttle later in June. Both routes will have morning and afternoon rush hour schedules only.

The expanded service follows what has already been a broadening of MWRTA's coverage area to more routes as far as Milford, Highland Commons in Hudson, Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough and Babson College in Wellesley.

The MWRTA is developing a smartphone app to allow riders access to real-time trip information and communicate directly with transit authority dispatchers. Commuter data from the app will help potentially revise route stops and timing.

The latest new routes come as MetroWest planners are looking into ways to best use a potential for a share of nearly $1.6 million in federal funding the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will dole out this fall. A goal of that funding program will be to lessen environmental impacts from so many commuters driving alone to and from work each day.

A public-input session by the 495/MetroWest Partnership was held May 10.

Research by the The Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth has shown MetroWest workers head to Boston for their jobs more than any other city, while more are coming from their homes in Worcester than any other community.

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