Planned changes to improve some of the MBTA’s bus routes will take effect on Sept. 1, 2019, including some that go to Watertown.
The changes are part of the Better Bus program, and on Sept. 1 the express bus routes to Watertown Yard will see some changes. The 502 and 504 buses will bypass the Newton Corner loop on outbound weekday afternoon peak trips for faster Watertown service.
Changes to other routes will be made in the coming months. See details of the changes to other routes by clicking here. Also, more information is available in the the following announcement provided by MassDOT:
Beginning September 1, the MBTA will implement a number of bus service changes as part of the Better Bus Project.
“The modifications to these select routes are the first wave of changes to improve service for close to one-third of MBTA customers who depend on our buses to get to work, school, and other activities,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “These modifications represent the most significant changes to our bus service in over a decade and are the results of both a comprehensive analysis of how our bus routes perform, and an unprecedented level of engagement with our customers.”
As part of the MBTA’s $8 billion, five-year Capital Investment Plan, the Better Bus Project’s goal is to ensure bus service lives up to the MBTA’s own standards. With one-third of transit riders depending on the MBTA’s bus service every day, these cost-neutral changes were driven by the T’s need to better serve the public and were informed by a year’s worth of input from riders, planners, cities, and elected officials.
The MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board approved changes to 53 routes in April 2019. Of those changes, 29 routes will be changing on September 1. The remainder of the changes will follow this winter or in subsequent quarters. In addition to these route changes, the MBTA is adding additional bus operators to provide better frequency on many routes during off-peak times.
For full and complete information on bus route changes taking effect on September 1, please visit www.mbta.com/betterbus-sept1.
These changes are being made to improve frequency, increase reliability, and reduce the complexity of service for all bus riders. However, this does require change and may mean that some riders will need to take a different bus, travel to a different bus stop, or require a transfer between different services. To ensure that all affected riders are aware of these changes, the MBTA has communicated to its customers through flyers at affected bus stops, on-bus announcements, digital and text alerts, updated web pages, social media, and more.
For riders seeking detailed information on changes affecting specific routes and bus stops as well as recommended service alternatives for riders losing service on a particular route, please visit www.mbta.com/betterbus or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA.