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MBTA Bus

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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates 170 bus routes (list of routes) in the Greater Boston area, many of which were formerly part of a large streetcar system. Some routes are for local transport within the city; others bring passengers from surrounding areas to stops on the MBTA Commuter Rail or subway lines. The MBTA has a policy objective to provide transit service within walking distance (defined as 0.25 miles (0.40 km)) for all residents living in areas with population densities greater than 5,000 inhabitants per square mile (1,900/km2) within the MBTA's service district. Much of this service is provided by bus.

MBTA Bus
MBTA 1845 at Dudley Square station, March 2017.jpg
A New Flyer XDE40 bus at Dudley Station in 2017
ParentMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Founded1964 (predecessors date to 1856)
LocaleGreater Boston
Service areaBoston and immediate suburbs
Service typeLocal, limited stop, express, and Silver Line BRT
Routes170[1]
Fleet1044 (Active) [1]
Daily ridership387,815 (2013)[2]
Fuel typeDiesel, CNG, electric trolleybus, diesel-electric hybrid
OperatorMBTA; private operators
Websitembta.com

The MBTA operates a four-route bus rapid transit service branded as the Silver Line, as well as three crosstown routes that were intended to become the first part of the now-suspended Urban Ring project. Fifteen routes designed as key routes run with higher frequency at all times, including extended service hours on Friday and Saturday nights over some of these routes.

Most MBTA Bus service is served by diesel, compressed natural gas, and diesel-electric hybrid buses. Silver Line routes running in the Waterfront Tunnel use dual-mode buses that operate as trolleybuses in the tunnel and as diesel buses on the surface. Four routes based out of the Harvard Bus Tunnel run with trolleybuses in Cambridge, Massachusetts and several surrounding suburbs.

All buses and routes are wheelchair-accessible (see MBTA accessibility); most of the MBTA's bus fleet consists of low-floor buses with wheelchair ramps, while older high-floor buses have lifts. All buses have LED exterior headsigns displaying route and destination, with automated audio/visual stop announcements for passengers.

After taking over operations in August 1964 from the former Metropolitan Transit Authority, the MBTA began rebranding many elements of Boston's public transportation network. After being found unsuitable in 1965 for what is now the Orange Line because it did not show up well on maps, yellow was chosen for the color of bus operations on January 8, 1972.[3][4]

The Boston Elevated Railway and MTA operated overnight Owl service until 1960. From September 2001 to June 2005, the MBTA operated bus service on 17 routes (7 normal bus routes and 10 routes replicating subway lines) until 2:30am on Friday and Saturday nights. Similar service on the key routes was operated from March 2013 to March 2014.[5] In 2017, the MBTA Board considered a proposal to run all-night service on several routes with pulsed connections at a central hub.[6]

FleetEdit

Active fleetEdit

This is the current bus roster for the MBTA as of November 2019. All buses are 102 inches (260 cm) wide; most buses are 40-foot (12 m) length, while 102 are 60-foot (18 m) articulated buses.[1]

Order Year Manufacturer Model Picture Fleet Qty. Active Propulsion Length (ft.) Notes
2004 Neoplan USA AN440LF   4101-4128 28 28 Electric trolleybus 40
2004-2005 Neoplan USA AN440LF   0401-0593 192 191 Diesel 40
  • Overhauled by Midwest Bus 2013-2015
2004-2005 Neoplan USA DMA-460LF   1101-1132 32 32 Dual mode 60
  • Used for Silver Line Waterfront (SL1, SL2, and SL3) service
  • 1125-1132 owned by Massport
  • Overhauled by Maine Military Authority from 2015-2018
2006-2007 NFI D40LF   0600-0754 155 153 Diesel 40
2008 NFI D40LF   0755-0909 155 155 Diesel 40
  • All will be overhauled by Midwest Bus, by late-2019.[1]
2010 NFI DE60LFR   1200-1224 25 25 Hybrid 60
  • Buses to be overhauled by Northeast Bus.[1]
  • 1222-1224 used for Silver Line (Washington Street) routes
2014-2015 NFI XDE40   1400-1459 60 60 Hybrid 40
2016-2017 NFI XN40   1600-1774 175 175 CNG 40
2016-2017 NFI XDE40   1775-1924 &
3000-3005
156 156 Hybrid 40
  • 3000-3005 assigned to privately operated routes 712 and 713[1]
2016-2017 NFI XDE60   1250-1293 44 44 Hybrid 60
  • 1273-1293 used for Silver Line (Washington Street) routes
2018 NFI XDE60   1294 1 1 Hybrid 60
  • Part of an option to order up to 45 additional hybrid buses with extended-range electric operation to replace the current dual-mode fleet, which would not require a change of power between trackless trolley and diesel at Silver Line Way.[7]
2019 NFI XE60   1295-1299 5 5 Battery-electric 60
  • Funded by 2015 FTA grant.[8] Will be used for two years for testing battery-electric technology in Silver Line service.[9]
2019-2020 NFI XDE40   1925-2118 194 19 Hybrid 40
  • Delivery in-progress; to last until September 2020
  • Part of an option order from the 2016-17 XDE40 fleet contract.
  • Will replace the entire AN440LF fleet

FutureEdit

Potential future orders include the 45-bus option order for extended-battery range hybrid buses (of which #1294 is a test bus), as well as a 60-bus option from a Virginia order.[1] The MBTA may begin a phased 500-bus order in 2020, with delivery from 2021-2025. Under that plan, the agency would establish a continuous procurement process with 100 new buses per year, and buses retired after 12 years.[1]

FacilitiesEdit

 
MBTA Bus routes grouped by the facility they operate from at peak hours

MBTA buses are operated out of the facilities listed below.[1]

Name # of buses Address Routes Times of Operation
Albany Street 116 421 Albany Street, Boston 4, 8 (Dudley school trip only), 44 (Townsend & Warren School trip only), 55, 57, 59, 60, 65, 66 (Brighton school trips only),170, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 553, 554, 556, 558, CT2, CT3 Weekday rush hours & middays only
Arborway 115 3600 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain 14, 15 (early mornings only), 21, 24, 26, 27, 28-(Some school trips only), 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 34E, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39†, 40, 41, 42, 50, 51, 52, 195‡ Full-time
Cabot 195 275 Dorchester Avenue, South Boston 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 28 (early mornings and some school trips only), 43, 44, 45, 47, 55*, 57*, 59*, 65*, 66, 171, 504*, 553* Full-time
Charlestown / Bennett (Somerville) 218 21 Arlington Avenue, Charlestown 62, 64, 67, 68, 69, 70, 70A, 71**, 72, 73**, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90*, 91, 92, 93, 94*, 95*, 96*, 97*, 99*, 100*, 101, 104, 105*, 106*, 108*, 109, 110, 111, 112, 132*, 134*, 136*, 137*, 325, 326, 350, 351, 352, 411*, 430* Full-time
Fellsway 76 465 Salem Street, Medford 90, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 105, 106, 108, 131, 132, 134, 136, 137, 354, 411, 430 Weekday rush hours & middays only
Lynn 96 985 Western Avenue, Lynn 114, 116, 117, 119, 120, 121, 424, 426, 428, 429, 434, 435, 436, 439, 441, 442, 450, 451, 455, 456, 465 Full-time
North Cambridge 28 2375 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge 71, 72***, 73, 77A (limited service) Weekdays & Saturdays only
Quincy 80 954 Hancock Street, Quincy 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 225, 230, 236, 238, 240, 245 Full-time
Southampton 107 230 Southampton Street, Boston 16 (some peak/shoulder trips), 28 (early morning service from Cabot, school trips from Cabot and Arborway), 39 (evening service from Arborway), Silver Line Full-time

Notes:

  • * = Route during evenings & weekends
  • ** = Route during Sundays
  • *** = Route 72 will return to trolleybus operation upon completion of the Harvard Busway Renovation Project
  • † = Route during evenings
  • ‡ = 1 trip only, runs daily, serves Lemuel Shattuck Hospital

Private busesEdit

 
A Blue Hill Bus Lines vehicle on the Canton - Mattapan route, now the #716 route, in 1967

Most local bus routes in Massachusetts outside the immediate MBTA operating area are operated by the state's other regional transit authorities (RTAs). However, some routes that connect with MBTA bus or subway service are operated by outside private contractors with partial subsidy by the MBTA. [10]

Five routes – the 710, 712/713, 714, and 716 – are numbered like other MBTA buses; their operators accept MBTA passes on CharlieTickets, but do not have CharlieCard readers. The five routes are primarily commuter routes which connect with other MBTA services at their inbound terminals. They were taken over from various private operators (Hudson Bus Lines for the 710 and 716, Rapid Transit Inc. for the 712/713, and Nantasket Transportation for the 714).[5]

Five suburban municipalities contract with outside operators for local circulator routes, most with partial MBTA subsidy. Bedford, Beverly, and Dedham run single routes; Burlington runs five routes; and Lexington runs six.[5] Most are run by private operators, except for the Beverly Shuttle, which is part of the Cape Ann Transportation Authority system. Additionally, a nonprofit shuttle is run in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood.[5] Those 15 routes appear on MBTA system maps and connect with MBTA services at designated transfer points, but are numbered separately and do not accept MBTA passes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "MBTA Vehicle Inventory". NETransit. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
  3. ^ Tran, Andrew Ba (June 2012). "MBTA Orange Line's 111th anniversary". Boston Globe. p. 11. Archived from the original on July 21, 2017.
  4. ^ A Chronicle of the Boston Transit System. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1981. p. 8 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  6. ^ Vaccaro, Adam (August 1, 2017). "MBTA may test overnight buses, Foxborough commuter rail". Boston Globe.
  7. ^ "Baker-Polito Administration, State and Transportation Officials Celebrate the MBTA's First Extended-range Hybrid Bus in the MBTA Silver Line Fleet" (Press release). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. September 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program Project Selections". Federal Transit Administration. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  9. ^ "First-Zero-emission-Battery-electric-Buses-Join-the-MBTA-Silver-Line-Fleet" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. July 31, 2019.
  10. ^ "Private Bus". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 22 July 2014.

External linksEdit