Camille Barchers Eric Gonzales
Presently, the interurban bus routes of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MeVa) connecting Lawrence, Lowell, and Haverhill have the highest ridership of any of the routes on the MeVa system. Connecting those three cities, and the surrounding suburbs and UMass Lowell, with a light rail line or a bus rapid transit line, would improve the commute of the people already using those bus routes and draw more residents to public transit. This project undertook corridor-based alternatives and feasibility analysis that looked at a specific proposal for a high capacity transit line connecting the three cities that would be beneficial to transit planning in the region. Several different alignments between the three cities were studied for the routing with the optimal characteristics for high transit ridership. Several GIS and other mapping analyses were applied to these alignments to determine if they would provide sustainable ridership for a high capacity transit service. A light rail line, or a bus rapid transit line, between Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill would significantly benefit the greater Merrimack Valley region in a number of different ways.