We’ve all see the crowds at the bus stops. Some neat and organized lines others just disorganized packs. Literally between 50-100 people wait at the bus stops in the City Point neighborhood during the morning rush hour. You can sometimes see commuters trying to beat the crowds by walking to the next bus stop a block away, closer to the MBTA bus barn hoping to get on the bus. By P Street, most buses are filled to capacity. If you’re waiting a L and Broadway and you want to take the 7, well, you’re shit out of luck. Improving service has been a work in progress with community meetings and initiatives started by State Rep. Nick Collins, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and City Councilor at-Large Michael Flaherty. Well, here’s the latest and the greatest in Southie Bus News and it involves new buses and buses drivers for our neighborhood.
See press release below:
The MBTA, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and State Representative Nick Collins are pleased to announce service changes and new investments that will lead to improved reliability and capacity for bus routes in the South Boston neighborhood.
As part of the MBTA’s newly approved budget for Fiscal Year 2018, $2.1 million will fund seven additional buses and ten operators for Routes 7 and 9. Scheduled to take effect in September, these actions will address overcrowding issues and improve both the frequency and reliability of service.
“Our South Boston customers rely heavily on buses, and we need to do everything we can to deliver the best service possible,” said MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. “I want to thank Senator Forry and Representative Collins for their strong advocacy on behalf of their constituents, and working closely with us to find solutions.”
This investment is in addition to operational changes implemented in September 2016:
- Dropped trips on AM peak inbound Routes 7 and 9 were significantly reduced by adding $210,000 a year for additional scheduled route trips.
- A fare validation pilot program permitted riders to pay their fare prior to boarding and allowed all-door boarding. Dwell time was decreased by 28 percent.
In addition to the Route 7 and Route 9 investments, the City Point Bus Terminal now has a Short-Term Goal to retrofit the City Point MBTA bus layover facility to allow for passenger pick up/drop off, with amenities (benches and shelters). A mid- to long-range goal of accommodating future bus service enhancements and improvements, such as the additional bus service, is planned for September 2017.
“We have been advocating for additional resources to these South Boston bus routes, and thank the MBTA for the investment,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “It’s exciting to see the plan move forward with funds helping to ensure South Boston residents have a more reliable mode of transportation.”
“I am very pleased to see the MBTA respond to our community’s concerns about bus overcrowding with these very important investments” said Representative Collins. “These dollars will help alleviate the overcrowding, providing a frequent, reliable, and more comfortable service to those who rely on it.”
The MBTA first began meeting with Senator Forry and Representative Collins nearly a year and a half ago. MBTA analysis has showed that ridership has increased by as much as 84 percent on Routes 7 and 9 since the early 2000s.