It should be noted the second table here is smartER
planning by the MBTA, not perfect or good by any means, but smarter, i.e. optimizing with what they have. Instead of developing schedules that meet the T's obscure desired levels, they are releasing schedules for the summer based on expected staff availability. It should result in less dropped trips across the system overall, and not mostly just on select high-frequency routes. With these published schedules, you can better rely on a 1 bus showing up every 10-15 minutes, as opposed to 8-12, but sometimes 16-36 minutes. Consistency means less delays and better experience overall across the system. They are also moving forward with some Bus Network Redesign Initiatives, but anything that requires additional staff (pretty much higher frequencies) is on hold.
Also to note: they have finally negotiated immediate full-time onboarding for bus drivers with 589. They are also trying to set up a set of drivers that consistently work ~20 hours/week around the same shift time if possible, but sounds like logistics with 589 still have to be straightened out there. I can imagine long-timers aren't going to be too happy with these changes. Conversations are still ongoing regarding pay grades.
- Lots of numbers on headcount being thrown around too, with no clear/central answer. The slide notes 200 operators have been hired since January. However, at several points, various officials cited "net positive ~200+ headcount so far," but "we've lost ~700," so "we've actually hired 900." These numbers are different from numbers in other reports recently too..