Changes to MBTA Buses Serving Watertown Start in Late December

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An MBTA bus in Watertown.

Watertown public transit riders will soon see some changes to bus routes as part of the MBTA’s Better Bus Project.

Beginning Dec. 22, 2019, the 70 and 70A buses will see changes in its service to north Waltham,, and the 71 bus will have shortened routes during the morning and evening rush hours. Also, stops will be eliminated on the 52 bus, which runs out of Watertown Yard.

The biggest change will be on the 70/70A route, which runs from Cambridge to Waltham, by way of Arsenal Street and Main Street in Watertown. On Dec. 22, the bus will be split into the 70 and the 61 buses.

The 70A, which included a loop Waltham Center into north Waltham, will be eliminated and the new 61 bus will serve north Waltham. The MBTA is also adding more buses to the 70 bus route.

The 71 bus will have more morning departures from Harvard Square that end at Aberdeen Street in Cambridge, near Mt. Auburn Cemetery, and more evening departures from Aberdeen Street to Harvard Square.

For riders of the 52 bus, stops will be eliminated on Centre Street, south of Newton Centre, and Winchester Street. Also, the route will be changed near the intersection of Parker and Dedham streets.

Other routes that will see changes include the 74 and 75 buses to Belmont.

The MBTA provided the following information on its website:

Changes to the 70/70A Bus

How This Route is Changing

Route 70A is being eliminated. Route 70A service will be replaced by a new, simpler Route 61, and added service on Route 70.

What You Can Expect

All Route 70A stops between Cambridge and Waltham Center will continue to be served by Route 70.

Some Route 70A stops north of Waltham Center will be served by the new Route 61. Some stops will be eliminated or served only by Route 170.

If your Route 70A stop is…

  • Between Waltham Center and Cambridge, your new route could be Route 70 from your current stop
  • Along the loop of Lincoln St, Lake St, Lexington St, Trepelo Rd, and Smith St, your new route could be Route 61 in the counter-clockwise direction around the loop
  • Along Wyman St, Totten Pond Rd, Bacon St, Dale St, and Lexington St south of Dale St, your new route could be Route 61 from your current stop
  • Along Lexington St south of Lake St, your new route could be Route 61, from a stop on Lake St or Totten Pond Rd

Why We’re Making These Changes

By reinvesting the resources currently dedicated to Route 70A, we can provide more reliable service along Route 70 and service to North Waltham (including on Sunday) on Route 61.

Downloads

Winter 2020 Routes 61/70/170 schedule PDF

Changes to the 71 Bus

How This Route is Changing

Route 71 service includes new, short trips in the AM peak to Aberdeen Ave and PM peak to Harvard Square.

What You Can Expect

New trips provide additional frequency for the AM peak outbound and PM peak inbound to and from Mount Auburn Hospital. They also position the bus for its next Route 72 trip during peak service times.

If you ride take the 71 you’ll find…

  • New peak trips outbound, between 7:00 AM and 9:15 AM, from Harvard Station to Aberdeen Ave
  • New peak trips inbound, between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM, from Aberdeen Ave to Harvard Square (Note: The stop is not in the station busway)

Be sure to view the destination sign of your Route 71 bus, especially if you are traveling to a destination west of Aberdeen Ave.

Why We’re Making This Change

By adding these trips to Route 71, we’re able to operate more Route 72 trips in the peak direction.

Downloads

Winter 2020 Route 71 schedule PDF

Changes to the 52 Bus

How This Route is Changing

All Route 52 service will travel via Parker St, Wheeler Rd, and Meadowbrook Rd.

Route 52 will no longer serve Nahanton St and Winchester St, or stops at Parker St @ Dedham St and Dedham St @ Country Club Rd. All trips will serve Wheeler Rd, near the middle schools.

What You Can Expect

For inbound service to Watertown Yard to or from…

  • Winchester St or Centre St between Needham St and Walnut St, take Route 59 to Watertown Yard or board at Cypress St
  • Nahanton St or Winchester St south of Needham St, board at Parker St or Dedham St
  • Parker St @ Dedham St or Dedham St @ Country Club Rd, board at Meadowbrook Rd or Wheeler Rd

For outbound service to Dedham Mall to or from…

  • Winchester St or Centre St between Needham St and Walnut St, board at Cypress St
  • Nahanton St or Winchester St south of Needham St, board at Parker St or Dedham St
  • Parker St @ Dedham St or Dedham St @ Country Club Rd, board at Meadowbrook Rd or Wheeler Rd

Why We’re Making These Changes

By shifting Route 52 service to Parker St, Wheeler Rd, and Meadowbrook Rd, we’re able to provide more frequent service where there’s more demand.

Downloads

Winter 2020 Route 52 schedule PDF

See information about changes to other MBTA bus routes by clicking here.

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