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Service Improvements for South Boston Bus Routes

Posted on May 10, 2017

BOSTON - The MBTA, in partnership with Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and State Representative Nick Collins are pleased to announce improvements that will strengthen 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 (2017), 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 during the morning peak on the 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 at two stops. This pilot is related to the MBTA's planned AFC 2.0 rollout. The pilot had positive results, with a dwell time decrease at the two stops of 28 percent.

 In addition to the Route 7 and Route 9 investments, the MBTA has partnered with Massport to convert the City Point Bus Layover Facility on East First Street to allow for passenger pick up and drop off. As part of this improvement, a passenger platform, sidewalks for access, benches and additional lighting will be added to the site.

"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 Route 7 and 54 percent on Route 9 since the early 2000s.


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