During the past 15 months of the pandemic, the Hull Redevelopment Authority has been working to prepare an Urban Renewal Plan (URP) for submission to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. A URP allows a redevelopment authority, such as the HRA, to actively source interested parties to improve, enhance, or develop the property described within the URP.
As part of any URP, the transportation aspect is looked at closely. As stated in a March 2021 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report: “Transportation facilities and networks have the power to shape development, influence property values, and determine a neighborhood’s character and quality of life. In addition, transportation investments have important consequences for the environment, including air and water quality, climate change, and open space preservation. How communities develop also affects how convenient and appealing public transportation, bicycling, and walking are for their residents.”
The HRA recognizes the importance of transportation centers that allow the Hull community to be efficiently connected to the larger metropolitan Boston area. Hull residents who currently work with Boston-based firms and Hull residents who are seeking employment need transportation, other than automobiles, that is reliable and affordable.
To set in motion a pilot program to explore this reality, the HRA is funding a seaside shuttle bus that will travel a loop from Pemberton Point to Nantasket Junction on Saturday and Sunday during this summer of 2021; the pilot began on June 26. A connection from the MBTA Pemberton Point ferry to the MBTA Nantasket Junction on the Greenbush line will ensure that Hull has the necessary linkage to these two critical transportation hubs even as a date for the return of weekend service on the Greenbush line is awaited.
The HRA has been in regular communication with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which is planning a mobility pilot study for the South Shore. The HRA’s efforts with the experimental shuttle bus will offer data for the MAPC study.
The pilot program is not designed as a replacement for the Hull-Nantasket Chamber of Commerce Hullo-Trolley nor for the MBTA’s 714 bus service. Although it is a free service, it has been designed to demonstrate the need for a regularly scheduled (as opposed to the 714 bus “hail and stop service”) connection to the two primary transportation hubs in Hull and to somewhat mitigate the loss of the Hullo-Trolley this summer. (The seaside shuttle will have fewer stops along Nantasket Avenue than do the Hullo-Trolley and the 714 bus).
It is hoped that the pilot program will demonstrate to the community and the Department of Housing and Community Development that Hull is prepared to make itself accessible not only by automobile and is helping to alleviate the challenges the town has faced with parking and traffic.
The shuttle bus is scheduled to operate every Saturday and Sunday until Sept. 5. The schedule will be posted on the HRA website, www.hra02045.com, and on the Chamber of Commerce website, www.hullchamber.com.
For further information, contact Dennis Zaia at DZ@FocusHR.com