Friday, April 19, 2024

A Best Buy Express kiosk will dispense items at the Alewife T stop for at least the next two months. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Just as a new round of snowstorms arrived to complicate driving in the area — on the first day of spring — elevator improvements have arrived at the Porter Square T stop on the red line to complicate mass transit.

The $11.5 million in work, announced in November, means no elevator service at Porter for about a year while other elevators are installed. The first connects the street to the lobby; the second connects the lobby and train platforms.

In an ideal world, of course, the new elevators would be working before the current elevator was shut down. Since this is a far from ideal world, shuttle buses will connect the Porter and Davis T stop in Davis Square, Somerville.

In the inimitable language of the MBTA:

Customers exiting the Red Line at Porter Sq. should instead exit at Davis Sq. and take the shuttle bus. Customers boarding the Red Line at Porter Sq. can take the shuttle bus to Davis, or route 77 or 96 to Harvard Sq.

At Porter Sq: Use intercom next to elevator on Somerville Ave. or see station official to request the shuttle bus. Board in bus stop on Somerville Ave.

At Davis Sq: Board shuttle bus in busway or see station official to request the shuttle bus.

Coincidentally, at around the same time this major travel inconvenience was being announced, the area got its second Best Buy Express kiosk for your minor shopping convenience. After success with an electronic kiosk in the Jetblue terminal at Logan Airport — one of only a dozen in a nationwide test program that began in 2008 — Cambridge’s red line T stop at Alewife got one as well. (Another was installed at the Forest Hills stop on the orange line, The Boston Globe reports.)

The T gets 7 percent of the revenue in a six-month deal with a six-month option to extend, the Globe said. The Cambridge Chronicle calculated that to be about $400 in the first two months, with the initial deal near its final third.

The MBTA Customer Communications Department can be reached at (617) 222-3200.