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 Extends Five-Day Pass, Proposes Change to Youth Pass

An MBTA bus in Watertown. The MBTA today announced updates to current fare pilots that include an extension of the Five-day Flex Pass on mTicket as well as upcoming fare change proposals that include improvements to the Youth Pass and converting all Outer Express Bus Routes to Inner Express Bus fares. These changes help to improve reduced fare programs and simplify complex fares for both customers and operations. “We’re pleased to temporarily extend the availability of the Five-day Flex Pass, which has been a popular fare option for our Commuter Rail riders as travel patterns have adjusted and evolved during the pandemic,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We’re also excited about our upcoming fare proposals that make improvements to the Youth Pass and Express Bus Route fares.

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.

Many Watertown Bus Routes Will See Service Changes in Fall

The 71 bus will have increased service beginning Aug. 30. It is one of several MTBA routes serving Watertown that will see changes. Several bus routes serving Watertown will see changes in service beginning August 30, including increased service on the 70 and 71 buses. Other routes begin operating on a limited schedule, or route, one will have increased weekend service and one will continue to be suspended.

Bus Schedule Changes Topic of Upcoming Online MBTA Meetings

Buses like this one on the 71 bus will get priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. The MBTA provided the following information:

The MBTA will host virtual meetings on Sunday, August 12, and Monday, August 13, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to present details on fall bus schedule details and changes. The virtual meeting on August 12 will be in Spanish and the virtual meeting on August 13 will be in English. These virtual meetings will be held on GoToWebinar, a video conferencing platform.