Time to tackle the Massachusetts RTAs! Not every system is incorporating changes, and not all of those changes are groundbreaking, but there’s some cool stuff in here. If you’re short on time, head down to RIPTA, which is doing the coolest thing.


They didn’t announce it on their website, but the last trip on the 21X will shift up 15 minutes to accommodate passengers from the 11N. That’ll start on September 3rd. Dunno why they didn’t do the same for the last 1, though…

Aside from losing seasonal services, nothing.

Gosh, all of the RTAs that come first alphabetically aren’t doing much! The CCRTA’s fall schedule, like always, removes seasonal routes and Sunday service. There is one minor change, though: buses tend to run express to Patriot Square after their runs, since that’s where the yard is. Those trips now show up on the schedule.

Again, nothing!

Ooh ooh ooh, hang on, this is interesting. GATRA is entering the – ahem – “microtransit” market with a new flexible route in Foxboro and Mansfield. It went into service on August 19th, and it’s free “thru” September! It uses the Transloc app, but you can also book a ride on the phone or online. This will basically be a free Uber that (presumably) uses a minibus, and you can certainly color me intrigued.

“The Circulator route [the 9] will make changes to its route pattern in order to improve on time performance.” Oh cool, so they’ll make it less terrible? Oh no, it’s just a minor routing change for inbound buses near the terminal. Sigh…okay. This came into effect August 12th.

Still nothing? Weren’t they supposed to have some “microtransit” service by now?

No changes.

Actually some pretty comprehensive changes here that will go into effect September 3rd. Let’s see what they’re up to…

Mathworks Express Shuttle: A new round trip is being added in the evening rush! That’s nice.

Route 20 Shuttle: Shoot, I’ve actually ridden this (it’s in the backlog) – if only I had gotten the review out saying it runs too early, because then I could’ve claimed these changes were based on me! But yes, evening rush service will run later now, plus there are a few time shifts in the morning.

2/3: NO, WHY???? The MWRTA has added an extra deviation to these already infrequent loops, making the frequencies about five minutes worse than they used to be. Ugh, the 2 had this beautiful hourly Saturday schedule, which is so rare for the MWRTA, but now it’s gonna be every 65 minutes! Disgusting! Well, I hope the seniors at Saint Patrick’s Manor use their new service – if anyone deserves a deviation, it would be a retirement home that doesn’t appear to have its own bus.

7/7C/15: The only change here is that buses in Marlborough aren’t going to the Senior Center anymore, instead stopping at Newton and Weed Streets. The schedules are otherwise identical to before.

MassBay Campus to Campus Shuttle: A massive service cut – this college service is every 45 minutes now (and it’s the summer!), but it’ll become every hour and a half in the fall. Oof.

MassBay Riverside Shuttle: Just reverting back to the usual fall schedule, with 15-minute service from Riverside.

As the summer comes to a close, NRTA will be reverting to its off-season service. No information on the website as to when that’ll actually happen, though.

Most UMass Transit routes will see a few running time changes starting September 3rd. Meanwhile, down in Springfield from August 25th, the Loop and B7S saw running time changes; the B7E’s route changed slightly; and the G2E will run every 50 minutes instead of every 60. Finally, the R44 in Northampton will become a loop on September 1st. For more information on all of these, click here.

RIPTA’s fall schedule changes begin August 31st.

3: Oh cool, the 3 will finally be branded as two separate routes! The “3A” will be branded as the 4 while the “3B” will change to just the 3. Also, not to brag (okay, totally to brag…), but who called it a year ago?

8x: Whereas the Greenwood Community Church Park and Ride used to only be served on the trips that terminated there, every bus will deviate in there now.

24x: OH WOW THIS IS AMAZING! So it’s a new express route that will go from Providence to Newport…VIA FALL RIVER AND SOMERSET! That is very cool. It’ll run six round trips on weekdays (three in the morning, three in the evening), and I can’t wait to ride it. This will make it a lot easier to get to Fall River from Boston, although granted, that’s a low bar.

29: The 7:10 trip from Cowesett Corners will now leave at 7:00, forever ruining the clean 90-minute frequency on the route. Maybe it’s to better connect with buses to Providence at the Warwick Mall?

55: Oh, this actually makes a lot of sense: the 55 will be extended from Our Lady of Fatima Hospital to Rhode Island College. Near Providence, it’s also being rerouted to take the route that most other Providence Station buses take, going via the north side of the building rather than the south side. These changes seem to have no effect on headway – if anything, they actually increased service, with buses on Sundays now running every 45 minutes instead of hourly.

56: Buses will leave their starting point a few minutes earlier or later for better on-time performance.

57: Same as the 56, but Sunday service is also being increased to every 45 minutes from every hour.

58: Buses are being rerouted to serve a Stop & Shop (don’t worry, it’s a well-executed deviation), with minor running time changes.

67: Morning and evening short-turns from Bellevue and Ruggles will leave five to ten minutes earlier.

92: Some minor running time changes for better on-time performance.

A number of changes came into effect on August 26th:

FR 2: The 2 lost its deviation to Commonwealth Landing, which is being covered by a rerouting of the FR 14. Don’t worry, though, a new variant came in to replace it: three trips a day to the Stop & Shop Distribution Center, organized on the schedule in the most hard-to-follow way possible!

FR 5/FR 10: “As of August 26, 2019, the Fall River Route 5 – Stafford Road the 3:35 PM trip departing Atlantic Charter School has been changed to depart at 2:30 PM.” Er…I think they mean the FR 10 in this awkwardly-phrased sentence, but I’ll link both just in case. They claim that both schedules have changed, but they don’t explain what the new FR 10 one entails.

FR 14: Wow, in one fell swoop, they eliminated the meandering route in Somerset. Buses will now take a much more direct routing (via Commonwealth Landing) to the Swansea Walmart, which they still call the Swansea Mall despite the fact that it’s closed now. Hopefully this new route will be a more useful and direct connection for people!

NB 6: Oh yeah, let’s just add a once a day deviation that meanders through a residential neighborhood to serve a nursing home! Great idea! I’m sure people will find that very useful!

NB 9/NB 10: The 9 will no longer make deviations to serve the 10’s route in the morning, since the 10 will now run earlier. Basically a wash – the 9 doesn’t lose the variant because it still serves those places in the evening.

Woah, VTA is making huge cuts. For the shoulder season (starting September 29th), the last round trip on the 1, 7, 9, and 13 will be eliminated, and the 2, 4, 8, and 10A will lose all service. Meanwhile, in the winter, nearly all service will be cut, with only the 1, 10, and 13 running, and only the 10 running Sunday service. They are planning either a demand response or fixed route service with one vehicle to cover the area served by the 3, 5, and 6, but that has yet to be determined. “Should more funding become available,” they say, “service will be added.” Goodness, it looks like they’re in a rough spot. More information here.

The WRTA made changes that came into effect August 24th:

1: Add another deviation to the 1? Okay! It’ll now serve the Dillon Street Apartments, making the route even more snaky.

4: “Some timetable changes,” which I can’t really figure out because I don’t have access to the old schedule. Millbury will be the terminus now, and the first three trips on weekdays will serve The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley “by request only” – the rest will deviate.

15: Lakeway Commons will become “by request only” on outbound trips, making it impossible to board an outbound bus there unless someone on board already requested the deviation. So…maybe just cut the deviation entirely?

23: Ugh, no, why? Buses will alternate between serving The Fairways like usual, and “Century Drive,” which seems to be serving a single small Red Cross building. This is not a direction that the WRTA should be heading in.