Busiest MBTA buses to get upgrades, service adjustments

MBTA buses will soon get a face lift.  Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
MBTA buses will soon get a face lift.
Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Boston’s bus passengers can expect some of the T’s busiest routes to get a summer facelift.

MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott announced today that construction on the Key Bus Routes Improvement Program will begin this week with work on Routes 22, 23, 28 and 32.

“The MBTA is looking forward to improving the quality of amenities and service on some of our most utilized services,” said Scott. “This aggressive and ambitious project will reduce trip times, enhance customer comfort, accessibility, convenience and safety, and make service more reliable and cost-effective.”

The MBTA has designated the 15 busiest bus routes in its system as “Key Bus Routes”. These are routes that operate for the full span of service, seven days per week and at higher frequencies to meet high levels of passenger demand in high-density travel corridors, according to T officials.. They operate every 10 minutes or better during weekday peak periods and every 15 to 20 minutes or better during weekday midday and off-peak periods.

The bus routes to be improved include Routes 1, 15, 22, 23, 28, 32, 39, 57, 66, 71, 73, 77, 111, 116, and 117. They serve approximately 885 bus stops located in eight communities and carry approximately 40 percent of the MBTA’s total bus passengers.

The program’s goal, according to T officials, is to improve the overall quality of service for the bus-riding public by making improvements and adjustments to both physical characteristics and service. In an effort to make service more reliable, work will include consolidating bus stops to eliminate redundancies and reduce the number of stops, many visible from one another, by 25 percent resulting in a projected 13 percent reduction in trip times. Work will also be done to make stops ADA accessible and to improve or add amenities such as shelters, benches, trash barrels and signage. Also, new Park and Pedal bike cages will be installed at Alewife and Beverly Garage in July and Wollaston, Back Bay, Dudley & Wonderland in August.

The project is funded through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and has an aggressive timeline, with all work scheduled to be completed by August 30th. The projected timelines are as follows:

Projected Work Dates for Key Bus Routes:
Route 1 – July 1st – July 25th
Route 15 – June 24th – July 12th
Route 22 – June 17th – July 17th
Route 23 – June 17th – July
Route 28 – June 17th – August 30th
Route 32 – June 24th – August 8th
Route 39 – July – August
Route 57 – July 15th – August 30th
Route 66 – June 24th – August 1st
Routes 71-73 – August 1st – August 30th
Route 77 – July 25th – August 26th
Route 111 – August 9th – August 30th
Routes 116/117 – July 19th – August 30th

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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