Last Tuesday for Boston area commuters, it was terrible day. From crowded bus stops – some had up to 100 people waiting, to major delays on the Red Line, people who rely on the T to get to work were left extremely frustrated. We reached out to Senator Nick Collins – has been working closely with the MBTA to improve the service – in particular bus service – in the neighborhood to find out what’s going on with the plan proposed this past May.
To refresh your memory:
Last spring, the MBTA hosted a community meeting and open house to discuss the bus situation. A new proposed plan to improve buses was presented. The new plan consists of eliminating every other bus stop, making sure our bus stops meet MBTA accessibility guidelines (which currently many do not), building bus shelters, and dedicated express bus lanes so buses can beat the traffic which we all know is a nightmare during rush hour.
Over 100 people attended the meeting and offered feedback, concerns, and ideas. The MBTA took notes and those in attendance were told the feedback would be considered and a decision would be made about the proposed plan. So where does that plan stand? Well…..
Senator Nick Collin’s office reached out to the MBTA to follow up. Here’s what they said in a nutshell:
After May’s meeting about bus service in South Boston, it was clear there was no consensus on a plan. The MBTA has decided to pause what was presented at that meeting, and instead the planning for South Boston routes will be rolled into their system wide bus planning initiative: the Better Buses Program. The Better Buses Plan should be made public early 2019, at which point there will be more public meetings and time for public input. Ideally, that will lead to some consensus and hard action, however at this point there is not a timeline for the specific improvements we saw presented in May.
Hmmh… so we’re back where we started.
“While I am frustrated with the pace, progress is being made to T service in South Boston. I am also excited to work with the new MBTA General Manager Poftak to prioritize addressing the system’s key issues, especially new forms of revenue,” said Senator Collins. “I have been calling for a new limited stop shuttle to directly connect City Point and South Station, bypassing existing gridlock on Summer Street and advocating that the MBTA secure long term funding sources similar to the MTA’s agreement at Hudson Yards in New York City. Here the MBTA would maximize and capture value of their underutilized assets at sites like Broadway and Cabot Yard. The MBTA could create public access connecting communities, and invest in our transit system for the long term, As the new legislative session begins, I will continue to be an advocate for smart development planning and legislation to ensure that the MBTA tackles both big, system-wide and long term challenges to the system, as well as the smaller, day-to-day service issues to improve reliability, daily service, and make our communities more livable,” said Senator Collins via email.
Last week on social media, Senator Collins also posted a graphic that shows some of the factors aka shit show that’s contributing to gridlock at Summer at L, and the potential bus route to bypass it.
So what do you think? From double-decker buses to express bus lanes, what can cure our MBTA bus blues?