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Southie Bus News

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.

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.

Comments

  1. GregM says

    Stupid question, if these buses are packed, and I assume make money, why does the T have to put it in their budget to make the change. It is too bad they can’t just make adjustments like this by moving buses from lesser ridden routes to ones where there is high demand. No wonder why the T is broke.

    • Typical Millenial says

      They need to take 10 cents of every dollar they collect to fund the pension gap for the thousands of retiree’s that are owed their pension. Google “MBTA Pension Plan” if you want to truly understand how an old, broken compensation structure has led to today’s mediocre service.

  2. sunshine says

    You know all you people crack me up – in case you haven’t noticed we have another bus route the # 10 that services South Boston as well – and while it may not frequent the part of town that alot of you people don’t go to…. the service on THAT route is the worse……I wrote a comment on this site before talking about this but it must not have measured up because it was taken down or not posted…..I have old people on my # 10 bus in the morning @ 6:10 when I am going to work and they are going to a doctors appt at Boston Medical aka City Hospital – their appts are not until 8 or 9 o’clock….but they take this bus because they are afraid another one isn’t showing up for them to get there in time…. it runs about 40-60 minutes minutes apart – if it shows up at all…. forget about calling or emailing the T…….and coming home from work it shows up about 30-45 minutes late everyday……I have attended the T meetings over time that they have had @ the Tynan and everyone was all over the # 7 – and how they need more service etc… heaven forbid the people that were told when they bought their condo that they had “easy access” to downtown – didn’t have that easy access because their bus was crowded….. at least they have the option of the bus showing up – they have already changed the route on the # 7 in the afternoon from about 4:10 until 6:30 of no service along Broadway at all – the reason when I called and asked was it was peak rush hour and they had to get the customers from downtown….so basically to hell with us standing in South Boston waiting to go inbound – we now have to go to Lst/Summer & 1st to get a bus……it comes out of the depot takes a right and goes right @ Edison and in town to get the people….while the article is great telling us all the glamorous things they are planning on doing in September – I really think they should take a look at the # 10 bus – aka the “forgotten South Boston route” just because we are not packed on it like sardines – it doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that we don’t deserve the same respect, consideration and courtesy or having a bus show up in a timely manner or not at all. Thank you

    • mary says

      I totally agree with this about the number 10 and another forgotten route is the number 5 bus it starts at 9 AM run s every hour up untill 3 PM i’m sorry my life does not stop at 3 PM I wish it would run longer and run every half hour it’s not easy trying to go food shopping and you have to depend on a bus and your bus will not show up for another hour so instead you have to take the number 10 again whichever shows up now my food is melting so get back on taking the number 10 I have quite a few bags and I have to walk from Dorchester Street to Colony Ave. and my street it’s a long walk and also there is no service on Sunday and all nearest part of the past and my street it’s a long walk and also there is no service on Sunday and all nearest part of th part of south boston The number five a lot of elderly depend on the #5 live in Maryellen McCormick and old colony homes

  3. Shaena says

    I totally agree I take the 10 every morning and it is always late if it shows up at all.

  4. bob says

    How about an actual 7 Express that makes no stops from Broadway and L to South Station (for the morning commute) and from South Station to Broadway and L (for the evening commute)?

    It’s the overcrowding coupled with stops every few blocks that require almost all of the standing passengers to exit and reload the bus for one or two passengers that really makes the ride ridiculously inefficient, time consuming and frustrating to deal with.

    • Mike says

      Bob,
      Have you noticed all of the new construction and companies moving into the Seaport? Are you aware that there are people who actually work in the Seaport? Some of those individuals, like myself, happen to live in South Boston. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons for the increase in residents in South Boston and surging home values. I live on O Street and depend on the #7 bus to take me as close to my office as possible. Which means I have to get off at the stop near D Street. From there it’s a bit of a walk but it’s the best option available. I’m sorry that you have to sit on the bus and stare at Facebook on your phone for an extra 45 seconds while the bus stops to allow other paying passengers to board/exit the bus. Fortunately for you, the bus ride from South Station to L street in the evening is basically an express route. Meanwhile, myself, along with many others have to wait at the stop near D Street for about 20 minutes each evening while several buses drive by without stopping. While the driver seems to think that the bus is full, I can clearly see that there is plenty of room for at least 1 additional passenger. However the problem is that everyone loves to crowd toward the front of the bus, giving the appearance of a full bus. Most nights I end up waiting and hoping a bus will stop and then either walk or take an Uber. Your response will probably be that it’s only the Seaport, it’s an easy walk, why complain about that? Try doing that 20-30 minute walk in the winter while walking on un-plowed sidewalks while buses and cars speed by splashing in puddles of rain and slush. If you have a better option than taking the #7 and getting off at one of the 2 stops before D street, I’m open to hearing them.

  5. AC says

    There’s also a #11 bus. And don’t forget, it’s not all about the morning commute inbound. If you work near the convention center in Seaport, good luck getting on a bus in the evening commute. The 11 is horrible and the 7 is even worse since it’s already packed by the time it gets from Downtown & S. Station. There are like 3 busses that go by all 10 min apart before you can actually get on one.