MBTA Buses & Infrastructure

MBTA and the Town of Arlington Announce Extension of Shared Bus/Bike Lane on Massachusetts Avenue Funded by MassDOT’s Shared Streets and Spaces Grant

Installation of the extension of the shared bus/bike lane is scheduled to begin May 20 with completion anticipated in the next few days (weather depending). The project includes the addition of an outbound lane from Alewife Brook Parkway to the opposite side of Lafayette Street. This segment of road was identified by the MBTA in their Transit Priority Vision as a critical need for bus priority improvements and used design guidance from the MBTA’s Transit Priority Toolkit.
 
Has the MBTA ever proposed a date for full implementation of the redesigned bus network?

I'm asking because Somerville is currently installing floating bus stops for the 85 on Summer St... and once the new bus network goes into effect, there won't be any buses to use them. Seems like a bit of a waste to pour concrete for a few years of use.
 
Has the MBTA ever proposed a date for full implementation of the redesigned bus network?

I'm asking because Somerville is currently installing floating bus stops for the 85 on Summer St... and once the new bus network goes into effect, there won't be any buses to use them. Seems like a bit of a waste to pour concrete for a few years of use.
As far as the T has communicated, it's a 5 year plan with the first year of changes being implemented in Dec 24.

You're not wrong about the Summer St floating bus stops - nothing in the BNRD looks like it'll use them, but I will this is just gravy since it looks like the bulk of the work was underground utilities. They'll probably just become oversized curb extensions. That said... Is the 85 currently running on Summer St today? While I know that's it's official routing, afaik it was curtailed "temporarily" for summer 23 to Bow St, but it's projected restoration to it's full route in Fall 23 never happened.
 
That said... Is the 85 currently running on Summer St today? While I know that's it's official routing, afaik it was curtailed "temporarily" for summer 23 to Bow St, but it's projected restoration to it's full route in Fall 23 never happened.
The GTFS data still shows the 85 terminating at Bow St, so it might still have not been restored to Summer St.
 
Is the 85 currently running on Summer St today? While I know that's it's official routing, afaik it was curtailed "temporarily" for summer 23 to Bow St, but it's projected restoration to it's full route in Fall 23 never happened.
The construction on the hill has lagged a bit and I believe that is why the T cut the 85 short to Bow Street.
 
I think up to Lafayette only touches two parking spaces. Any further and it will probably run into the same folks who groused when the stretch was rebuilt a few years back.
 
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I think up to Lafayette only touches two parking spaces. Any further and it will probably run into the same folks who groused when the stretch was rebuilt a few years back.

Based on their recent Instagram post it looks like it's a shared parking/bus lane, so it isn't even removing permanent parking
 

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Based on their recent Instagram post it looks like it's a shared parking/bus lane, so it isn't even removing permanent parking
This shared photo is southbound and there’s been a bus bike morning only lane here for a while (maybe they were repainting it while they were there adding the minuscule new northbound lane).
 
I'm working my way through the 2023 bus data. One of my immediate observations is that 71/73 ridership is still absolutely anemic and not getting better. YOY growth is about 1.5-3% compared to 8-10% on the 70/77. (Or in percentages, the 77 is at 58% of historical maximum ridership, while the 71 is at 45%.)

The 57 has also slightly decreased in ridership, which is somewhat curious.
 
I'm working my way through the 2023 bus data. One of my immediate observations is that 71/73 ridership is still absolutely anemic and not getting better. YOY growth is about 1.5-3% compared to 8-10% on the 70/77. (Or in percentages, the 77 is at 58% of historical maximum ridership, while the 71 is at 45%.)

The 57 has also slightly decreased in ridership, which is somewhat curious.

Rerouting the 71/73 trips longer certainly didn't help, especially at peak times. 5 additional minutes on the outbound trips is a minimum, and can be 10 extra minutes at peak hours trying to get through Harvard Square on the surface.
 
Rerouting the 71/73 trips longer certainly didn't help, especially at peak times. 5 additional minutes on the outbound trips is a minimum, and can be 10 extra minutes at peak hours trying to get through Harvard Square on the surface.
So the real loss from the removal of the trackless trolleys is that the bus tunnel is underutilized then. I guess I hadn't really fully realized that.
 
So the real loss from the removal of the trackless trolleys is that the bus tunnel is underutilized then. I guess I hadn't really fully realized that.
It just changed from the inbound trip using the upper busway and the outbound trip using the lower busway to both the inbound and outbound trips using the upper busway.

If the T shifts to battery-electric busses will the tunnel be utilized again?
They ordered buses with left doors for 71/73 to be assigned to North Cambridge, so will presumably go back in the lower busway once they have enough units to meet service demands.
 
In a somewhat cruel footnote, the T has decided to number the new BEB order into the 4000-series numbering reserved for the last 50 years of trackless trolley generations. 4200-4231 will be the North Cambridge-assigned fleet with left-handed doors. 4300-4347 will be the Quincy-assigned fleet with no left-handed doors. The left-handed doors version will have 3 fewer seats than the other 40-footer diesel-hybrids and BEB's.

FWIW...the 5 60-footer BEB's assigned to the Silver Line (buses 1295-1299) didn't break sequential numbering scheme with the diesel-hybrid 60-footer fleets.
 
In a somewhat cruel footnote, the T has decided to number the new BEB order into the 4000-series numbering reserved for the last 50 years of trackless trolley generations. 4200-4231 will be the North Cambridge-assigned fleet with left-handed doors. 4300-4347 will be the Quincy-assigned fleet with no left-handed doors. The left-handed doors version will have 3 fewer seats than the other 40-footer diesel-hybrids and BEB's.

FWIW...the 5 60-footer BEB's assigned to the Silver Line (buses 1295-1299) didn't break sequential numbering scheme with the diesel-hybrid 60-footer fleets.
Of course they did
 
In a somewhat cruel footnote, the T has decided to number the new BEB order into the 4000-series numbering reserved for the last 50 years of trackless trolley generations. 4200-4231 will be the North Cambridge-assigned fleet with left-handed doors. 4300-4347 will be the Quincy-assigned fleet with no left-handed doors. The left-handed doors version will have 3 fewer seats than the other 40-footer diesel-hybrids and BEB's.

FWIW...the 5 60-footer BEB's assigned to the Silver Line (buses 1295-1299) didn't break sequential numbering scheme with the diesel-hybrid 60-footer fleets.
How is that cruel?
 

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