Elected officials, Keolis team up to distribute masks along Fairmount Line

A group of elected officials, transit representatives, and community advocates gathered at the Four Corners/Geneva commuter rail station on Thursday to distribute boxes of masks (at right) donated by Keolis. Daniel Sheehan photo

A group of elected officials, transit officials, and local advocates gathered at the Four Corners/Geneva Fairmount Line station last Thursday morning as Keolis, the company that partners with the MBTA to operate the Commuter Rail system, donated 10,000 masks that will be distributed to local small businesses, community organizations, and MBTA riders.

Senator Nick Collins, City Councillor at-large Julia Mejia, and State Representatives Liz Miranda and Russell Holmes were all in attendance.

“We’re really pleased that we’re able to do a small part in helping the community cope with some of the challenges we have right now,” said Keolis general manager David Scorey.

Ryan Coholan, chief railway operator at the MBTA, said he was “so proud of Keolis for partnering with the community in the way they have over the last six years.”

“I think today we’re all here to see the result of what a real partnership can deliver, and any time the MBTA can help bring a group like Keolis and the community together, that’s a win.”

Marilyn Forman, co-chair of the Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition (FITC), said the donation marked an “exciting day” and thanked Keolis for “doing its part in making sure that the community residents that will soon be riding the T as they’re going back to work and doing their chores are protected and have the masks they need and feel safe riding the T.”

After unboxing some of the masks, elected officials distributed them out to passersby and the owners of a few local small businesses located steps from the station, including Dominican restaurant Santo Domingo, Exclusive Barber Shop, and Salvaged Roots Hair & Beauty. The remainder of the 10,000 masks will be given to small businesses and organizations along the Fairmount Line, with the FITC ensuring that all commuters will be able to board trains and buses with a mask.

IMG_0460.jpgElected officials stopped by Santo Domingo to deliver a box of masks.

“We know that transportation justice is also a racial justice and an economic justice issue,” said Rep. Miranda. “The Fairmount Line is the brownest line in the system, and we have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The communities that have been hardest hit are right here in Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and Roxbury. So, what’s important is that we not only protect the people who are serving us, but also protecting the people who are using public transportation to get to work, to school, to get to other businesses.”