MBTA Hosting Virtual Open House, Seeks Input to Improve Bus Service

Charlie BreitroseAn MBTA bus in Watertown. The MBTA sent out the following announcement:

As a reminder, please join us at the Better Bus Project Virtual Open House this Thursday, August 26, at 6:00PM. The Better Bus Project hopes to improve the bus experience for riders in the near future and over the next several years. Short presentations will be given by project teams from across the MBTA, including the following:  

Bus Transit PriorityBus Network Redesign Bus Stop Accessibility Improvements Bus Operations Silver Line ExtensionBus Electrification and Facility Modernization Bus Stop E-Ink Signs

Afterwards participants can expect to join a breakout room of their choosing to learn more about an initiative. Here attendants can engage with the project team further by asking questions or participating in a discussion. We are excited to share our knowledge and enthusiasm about these initiatives with you!

MBTA Holding Virtual Public Meetings on Changes to Purchase Fares

An MBTA bus in Watertown. The following announcement was provided by the MBTA and MassDOT:

Three virtual public meetings are being held this month regarding the MBTA’s Fare Transformation program and upgrades to its sales network. In the future, riders will be able to purchase MBTA fares and passes online, via their smartphones, and with contactless credit/debit cards. Though customers will no longer be able to use cash to pay onboard vehicles once the new fare collection system is implemented by 2023, the MBTA is currently introducing more places to load cash onto CharlieCards than were previously available. Aimed at serving cash-dependent riders, this expansion will result in a larger, more robust, and more diverse sales network of retailers, in-station fare vending machines, and new streetscape fare vending machines at bus stops, Commuter Rail, Green Line, and Mattapan Line stations across the network.

MBTA Proposed Service Changes Could Impact Some Watertown Routes

An MBTA bus in Watertown. With ridership significantly down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MBTA has proposed a series of changes to the system, including altering and consolidating bus routes, and reducing hours of service on subways and the Commuter Rail. The plan has been dubbed Forging Ahead by the MBTA. The T will host a series of online meetings where the changes will be discussed from mid-November to early December. The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board will vote on the changes on Dec.

Three MTBA Bus Drivers Test Positive for Coronavirus

The following announcement was provided by the MBTA (Note the Cabot bus facility is located in South Boston):

Following three confirmed employee cases of COVID-19, the MBTA took immediate steps to protect its workforce and riders by enacting its facility maintenance protocols to clean and disinfect all exposed work areas, vehicles, and equipment at the T’s Cabot bus facility. The three confirmed cases are MBTA Bus Operators and were reported yesterday. “We ask the public to keep our employees in their thoughts, and I continue to express my deep gratitude to the women and men of the MBTA workforce who are serving a vital purpose in combatting COVID-19,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “To ensure we can protect the health and safety of our workforce, we strongly urge essential travel only, and we will continue our enhanced protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all vehicles, equipment, and surfaces.”

Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the MBTA has enacted its COVID-19 outbreak plan. We are disinfecting the employees’ workspace, vehicles, and equipment that they may have come into contact with. 

Through the public health tracing process, public health officials alert close contacts of the individuals who tested positive and will provide them with instructions for self-quarantine. Under health information privacy laws, the MBTA is prohibited from providing identifying information about a particular employee’s medical status.

MBTA to Talk About Fare Proposals, Buses at Watertown Meeting

The MBTA will discuss proposed fare increases and the Better Bus Project at a meeting in Watertown. The following information came from the MBTA:

A series of community meetings are being held to discuss the MBTA fare proposal. A 6.3% average fare increase has been proposed, which would take effect on July 1, 2019. Comments regarding the fare proposal can also be emailed to fares@mbta.com or mailed to MBTA, Attn: Fare Proposal, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116. The Better Bus Project and Automated Fare Collection 2.0 will also be discussed at a number of these meetings.