Well, it’s not time for the Forging Behind cuts yet, but here we are with some new service changes that come into effect…er…tomorrow! Sorry for being late, I’ve been engulfed in finals. There certainly aren’t as many cuts here as what is being proposed with the Forging Behind changes, but we are still losing a few routes. Which ones, you ask? You’ll have to read on to find out…
SL1: Well, off to a great start – the SL1 didn’t even get its own schedule this season! It’s coming back in the winter, but comparing the proper Silver Line schedule to the headway-based rapid transit schedule isn’t easy! Generally it seems like service is being cut on weekdays (particularly in the morning rush), though, which makes sense given that this route serves the airport.
SL3: Service during rush hour is being increased – it’s another case where it’s hard to tell because of the way the schedules are set up, but looking at the future online timetable, it does appear to have better rush hour service than it does now (every 6-9 minutes versus every 10-12).
SLW: Another case where I have to compare online timetables, since this “route” is so obscure to begin with. Since this is a peak-oriented shuttle serving mostly office jobs, you can see why it’s getting cut back on weekdays: it’s going from every 2-3 minutes at rush hour to every 8. Seems fair to me.
7: This is another peak-oriented route centered on downtown, so as expected, it’s losing rush hour service – rather than running every 4-5 minutes at rush hour, the 7 will be every 7-8. Since the morning peak schedule won’t be as demanding, the short-turn trips to Congress and Atlantic are being removed, while the midday schedule is being made more even (although not consistent – gaps are either 40 or 45 minutes, which is better than the mess now, but still).
9: This one doesn’t get credit in the official list since the actual schedule isn’t affected, but I still think it’s a big deal: the 9 is finally losing its weird Broadway loop! This does mean its stop at the station will move to the other side of Dorchester Ave, though, so be wary of that if you take the 9 from here.
11: Pretty much just a weekday outbound trip being added at 7:57 PM, while the 7:43 trip gets shifted back to 7:40 to compensate. Nice, nice!
14: This route is getting a bit simpler, but also a lot more complicated. On the one hand, the first trip on weekdays (which is a short-turn now) will be starting from Heath Street, removing the route’s only variant. However, the weekday schedule will now be significantly more crazy, with similar headways but wilder departure times. The madness results in one additional inbound trip in the evening rush, though, so that’s…something!
16: “Added trips throughout the day on weekdays,” says the MBTA. Well, allow me to push up my glasses and say, “Um, actually, the 7:16 AM outbound trip is being eliminated, so you have not added trips throughout the day.” No, but in all seriousness, they did a good job with this one: midday service, which is currently every 25 minutes, will generally be every 18-20 now, while evening rush service gets a boost too.
36: The actual times aren’t changing (besides a few running time adjustments), but fewer rush hour trips will run all the way to Millennium Park, terminating at the VA Hospital instead.
39: Ahhhh, time change central!! Headways are barely affected (Saturdays go from every 11 minutes to every 10, and there are fewer morning school trips to Boston Latin – although the amount of afternoon ones stays the same, interestingly), but pretty much every trip leaves at or takes a different amount of time (trips are scheduled much faster, which is good given how often buses are early – they should be doing this for every route on the system).
41: There’s a general service increase here (every 35 minutes instead of every 40 minutes middays, although while morning rush headways gain 5 minutes, evening rush headways lose about the same, albeit with one fewer vehicle running), seemingly thanks to scheduling the trips to be much faster – this bus was chronically early even pre-pandemic.
52: Well hey, a morning rush round trip is added to this very limited route! That’s good, I suppose!
55: This schedule just keeps getting weirder, man. Weekday trips from 8:48 on are being eliminated, limiting the weekday schedule to just rush hours…while weekends will still run every 30-40 minutes until 11 PM!
57: Aw man, RIP the 57A. Honestly, looking at this schedule, though, it seems like the 57 is actually getting more service hours added to it? Rush hour frequencies may be a little lower (only by a minute or two), but since every trip is going all the way to Watertown now, I think there’s technically a service increase here. It definitely simplifies the route, but it will probably make sense to bring the short-turns back once rush hour (and its associated traffic) becomes more of a thing again.
60: We’ve got a lot of time shifts, but the travel times themselves don’t seem to have changed much. Departure times at rush hour will be more standardized, but unfortunately that comes with enough of a frequency drop in the morning (it’ll be every 25-30 minutes rather than every 20-25 minutes) that it’ll lose a trip.
62/76: Interestingly, travel times are being increased for this route. I guess it must be running late.
65: Just time shifts for outbound morning rush trips, but hey, a new trip is added! Guess that’s where the 60’s missing run went, huh?
71: Ah, the first of many Harvard routes returning to their proper bus tunnel routing. But aside from the slightly increased frequency across the board resulting from that change, short-turn trips from Aberdeen Ave will be axed. How come? See below…
72: GOOD RIDDANCE!!!! The 72 is being “temporarily” suspended “for the winter”. Yeah, right. If this route actually comes back, I’ll…I’ll do a video where I attempt to board or disembark at every stop along the route in a day. You can hold me to that. And you probably should, because otherwise I might forget…
73: Another route returning to the Harvard bus tunnel, with increased frequency because of it.
77: MY BELOVED PAL THE 77A IS COMING BACK!!!! Besides that, buses are back in the Harvard bus tunnel, but while Sundays see a slight service increase, weekdays have a slight decrease – I would imagine that rush hour trips just aren’t filling up on this one.
78: The big deal here is the Harvard tunnel opening up again, of course, BUT: THERE ARE RUNNING TIME SHIFTS OF UP TO ONE MINUTE ON INBOUND SUNDAY TRIPS!!! HOW WILL WE SURVIVE??
89: There are little changes all over the place for this one. First, the 89/93 will see a minor time shift on weekends, while in the morning, it will no longer serve Davis (I didn’t realize that was a thing even…I kinda wonder if that’s a typo on the paper schedule). A few Clarendon Hill trips also have departure time changes, and two runs in the afternoon will go to Davis instead of there. Finally, the last trip on Saturdays, which for some reason runs to Clarendon Hill right now, will instead terminate at Davis.
94: Time shift city! The biggest ones are at night; most of the midday ones are only by a few minutes. Weekends are untouched.
96: The same boat as the 94 (right down to nights having the biggest changes), with two additions: running times are also changed on weekends, and this is the last bus where I can say it’s returning to its normal Harvard tunnel route!
99: There are a few time shifts on weekends, but this is also the first of a few routes whose last trip is being shifted later to time better with the last Orange Line train. Is this the T slowly acknowledging that the last trip never ever ever runs on time?
101: A few very minor time shifts for a few trips in the early morning and late evening on weekdays. Also, running times are being shortened in the outbound direction.
104: The 5:32 AM inbound trip on Saturdays will now leave at 5:35. Crazy.
105: Ahh, there’s an annoying time shift on Saturday afternoons that briefly changes the headway from every 70 minutes to an 85-minute gap followed by a 50-minute gap. That’s it for 105 changes, but it sure is a bad one.
106: Time shifts seven days a week, often to cleaner departure times, which is nice!
108: Same story! In particular, this route’s shifts thankfully make the weekday midday schedule more consistent.
109: Some minor time shifts on weekdays and Sundays. Also there is some wonkiness with the Saturday PM schedule – nothing’s actually changed, but this new timetable seems to fix some typos on the previous one.
110: Another one where the last trip is shifted later for better connections to the last train.
111: Ditto, but only on Sundays. Also, I never noticed this route’s last trip on Saturdays was scheduled as late as 1:25 AM – probably the only realistic last trip on the MBTA!
132: We’re getting a slightly more consistent Saturday schedule. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the current one – baby steps!
134: Time shifts throughout the day on weekdays, all in an effort to make this incredibly inconsistent route leave at more consistent times! I find it funny that the MBTA says that the last trip on Sundays is shifted forward to better time with the Orange Line – that last trip is indeed shifting forward, but it still leaves at 12:15, well before the last train. I dunno what connection they’re talking about!
136/137: I don’t think the website gives the full story here. Yes, there are some small time shifts weekday evenings, and all day on weekends (sadly leading to less consistent departures in the case of the latter), but this new schedule has some quirks too. Specifically, the 6:05 PM outbound 136 trip on weekdays will now be a 137 (although I think this is just correcting a typo on the old schedule), and the inbound 2:45 PM weekday trip from Wakefield Square will no longer be limited to school days (I wonder if this is a new typo, though – why would the outbound still only run on school days but not the inbound?).
195: “Weekday, Saturday, and Sunday trip eliminated in the AM peak.” Honey, those are the ONLY trips! This bizarre little route is kaput! I’m curious if it’ll come back in the future – it serves such a specific purpose (transporting discharged homeless people from the Pine Street Inn back into the city) that it feels like it would have to come back, right?
214/216: Uhhh…okay, this is weird. So I guess they’re bringing solo 214 trips back on weekday middays…but the midday 216 will still deviate to serve Germantown like a 214/216? I guess maybe Germantown is generating more ridership than Houghs Neck. There are also time shifts on weekends, including an increase in Sunday night service from every hour to every 40 minutes. Finally, the Mayor McGrath Highway variant is being added to select weekend midday trips. Sigh…that’s an annoying variant.
215: Time shifts on Saturdays.
354: Interesting, Medford Square is being added to every trip, even in the peak direction! I guess that’s to make up for the loss of the 325. Also, because the T has rightfully made the running times much shorter, the route is able to run one more trip per rush.
411: Time shifts on weekdays and Saturdays, mostly for consistency’s sake!
426: So this is the first of several Lynn routes that’s being routed away from Silsbee Street because the new buses up there can’t fit beneath that rail bridge. Most notably, this means the “Arrives 3-6 minutes earlier at Greater Lynn Senior Services” variant is gone for all these routes, which is good, because I have never ever figured out what that meant. Also, in the 426’s case, weekday times are shifting, mostly making the route’s departures more consistent.
429: Another route moving away from Silsbee Street, although the Greater Lynn Senior Services note has accidentally been left on for Sunday service (it’s definitely a typo). There are also time shifts seven days a week in the outbound direction.
430: Time shifts again, both on weekdays and Saturdays. Also, the addition of a Square One Mall timepoint on the paper schedule is much appreciated – that’s an important stop!
450: This one is mostly running time changes to reflect faster travel times. There is, however, a brand new inbound trip on weekdays at 4:15 PM…but it only goes to West Lynn Garage. Darn…still, I guess if the bus is going to be doing the trip anyway, might as well put it in service.
455: Running time changes in the inbound direction on weekdays. Also, it’s another one moving away from Silsbee Street!
456: “Weekday schedule changes throughout the day and new routing away from Silsbee Street”? But…this route is suspended “until further notice”…
501: Running time changes, but only for the Copley Square timepoint going inbound – everything else appears to be unchanged.
504: Time shifts throughout the day on weekdays, but it doesn’t seem like there are any radical changes in the frequency.
553: “Trips eliminated after 9 PM.” Well, the paper schedule is way ahead of you – it already wasn’t showing those trips!
I guess in light of Forging Behind, none of these changes were that radical. I think the T could be doing way more with taking advantage of the lower running times to increase frequency – there’s been some of that, but not as much as there should be. Hey, they did get rid of the 72 though, which is totally a plus! Ever since they rerouted the 75, that thing’s been totally redundant.