- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Media Contact for MassDOT Announces Expansion of Partnership with Boston Public Library and MBTA To Provide Free Digital Newspapers, Magazines, Audiobooks, and E-Books to Riders During Sumner Tunnel Closure
Jacquelyn Goddard, Director of Communications, MassDOT
Boston — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) in partnership with the MBTA and Boston Public Library today announced it will offer access to free digital newspapers, magazines, audiobooks, and e-books for the duration of the Sumner Tunnel closure.
The free digital content will be offered at more than 50 subway, bus, ferry, and commuter rail locations. These will include the Blue Line, the SL3, the 111/112/114/116/117, the Lynn, Winthrop, and East Boston ferries, and the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail line. The Sumner Tunnel closed at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5th. The tunnel will remain closed until Thursday, August 31st.
MassDOT is encouraging residents to Ditch the Drive and consider using alternative modes of transportation during the closure. While travelers are exploring these alternatives, they can take advantage of this free content to make the commute more enjoyable.
“As we encourage travelers to Ditch the Drive, we are grateful to the Boston Public Library for partnering with us to find a way to make travelers’ trips more enjoyable,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “The BPL is a terrific resource for communities throughout Massachusetts and this program is great opportunity for riders to experience all that the Library has to offer.”
“The Boston Public Library is a wonderful resource that everyone should take advantage of. While I encourage all to take the T to visit the library, I’m excited that, in partnership with BPL and MassDOT, we can now bring the BPL digital library to you,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “We’re committed to providing a safe, reliable ride to the public during the Tunnel’s closure and beyond. So now, when you leave the driving to us, you can now enjoy a great book, catch up on the news, read your favorite magazine, and more. These types of creative initiatives are a great way to both relax and enhance your travels. We hope riders and the public take advantage of public transportation and the Library’s digital offerings.”
This service is an expansion of an experiment the City of Boston launched at 20 bus stops in May, in partnership with the Boston Public Library and the MBTA.
“Commuters may be surprised to learn that the Boston Public Library is also the official Library for the Commonwealth,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “We are glad to have the opportunity to help enrich riders’ commutes during the shutdown, and appreciate MassDOT’s partnership in expanding the Browse, Borrow, Board program.”
Anyone who lives or works in Massachusetts qualifies for a BPL card and can get more information here: https://www.bpl.org/your-library-card/. Riders do not need a library card to access Browse, Borrow, Board content.
While riders are waiting to board the bus, train, or ferry, they can scan the QR code available near the transportation stop to access the digital library in their default internet browser. There is no app required. Riders do not need to have a library card. They can browse the library offerings, and then select up to five eBooks or audiobooks to read or listen to right in the browser. Riders can access unlimited newspapers and magazines.
Additional details on accessing the digital content are below:
- Scan the QR code and register for a temporary account with an email and password of your choosing. You must register through the QR code.
- An account will be created instantly that will let you borrow unlimited magazines and newspapers, and up to 5 eBooks or audiobooks at a time.
- Items that are checked out can be returned, which will allow for another checkout in the 14-day period.
- An email will be sent to you welcoming you to the service, providing a link to visit the site to continue reading, and the email/password of your choosing.
- All items will be borrowed for 14 days.
- With the link provided in the email, you can visit the site to continue to read or listen in the browser — no app needed.
- Each account will be valid for 14 days. After 14 days you can re-scan the QR code to re-register/access again. There is no limit on the number of times you can register after the 14-day period.
- Multilingual newspapers, magazines, and eBooks are available.
- Young adult and children’s content is available.
The closure is the next phase of a project that began in April of 2022 and will include work on the tunnel ceiling, roadway, walls, lighting and additional improvements which will increase safety and climate resiliency. MassDOT has put together a robust plan to mitigate as much as possible the impact of the project to residents and travelers. More about the project is available at mass.gov/sumner-tunnel.