Derrick Choi, AIA | LEED-AP Sr. Architect | Principal Jaebong Jeon, Assoc AIA Architectural Designer Team Leader
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
A discussion of Boston’s future Bus Station must never lose sight of the interconnected nature of the MBTA system and should acknowledge the wealth of analyses and scholarship that preceded the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Our planning and design team see this concept as a natural progression and evolution of the Boston Metropolitan Region’s initially highway-centric ideas of the ‘60s for a connected, radial city - leading up to current-day connectivity concepts which include the Urban Ring.
Our conceptual prototype design process articulates 3 principles that reinforce the evolving role of a bus / trolley stop beyond what we know if it today:
EMPOWER COMMUNITIES by using BRT to provide much more than transit options.
CONNECT & INTEGRATE TRANSIT with an interchangable BRT platform for myriad systems.
DELIVER AN ICONIC VISUAL IDENTITY that is at once unique and authentic to the Greater Boston area.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
We coined our design solution the FREEDOM TRAIL as a nod to Paul Revere’s incredible act of human ingenuity and willpower that mobilized and connected an entire region; leading up to, of course, the Independence of the United States. Additionally, this name is aspirational to the potential of BRT systems to not simply enhance mobility offerings, but contribute to the empowerment of communities by providing services unlike other public amenities - from recharging power to food trucks to car sharing services.
MOBILITY, FLEXIBILITY & ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL
This is NOT a bus project. This an economic investment, public transit, streetscape, ecological, and neighborhood livability project providing signficant enhancements to empower all transit users in the Greater Boston Area. This system is MORE than a means to improve bus stops; it is about providing a hub for opportunities: a multi-modal integrator that provides public transit customers the ultimate integration of mobility services and community offerings.
ONE SWIPE FOR ALL?
Imagine ONE station, ONE ticket and UNLIMITED access throughout the region - whether you need a shuttle around your campus, a ride on the T, car share or just access to a hubway. Look no further than the one-stop solution: FREEDOM TRAIL - a user-friendly public transit solution for all your first- and last-mile needs. A mobility innovation to revolutionize first- & last-mile experiences for visitors and locals alike.
BRT TEST SITES
Our design team tested the FREEDOM TRAIL concept in 3 unique and divergent sites along the Harvard - Dudley Square ‘Red’ Corridor. Specifically,
interventions were developed in the following stop locations:
1) HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL: Western Avenue at the Harvard Stadium -
Right side platform
2) ALLSTON: Harvard Avenue and Brighton Avenue - Center-of-street platform
3) LONGWOOD MEDICAL AREA: Longwood Avenue - Right side platform
REPURPOSING THE TRACKS
As we re-imagine the old fixed rail systems using more fiexible rubber tire-based solutions, the design of our BRT canopy and primary structural framing is inspired by the rigid, yet seemingly sinewy and supple disposition of the time-tested steel rail track. We pulled these tracks off and began to fold, stretch and pull to recreate a completely new typological solution.