MBTA revises proposed bus route map upon public feedback


By Maeve Lawler, Kasteel Well Bureau Chief

After receiving feedback from Boston bus riders, the MBTA updated its bus route map on Thursday. 

The changes reflect over 20,000 public comments the MBTA received in response to its proposed bus network in May. If the MBTA board of directors approves the plan in December, it will be implemented over the next five years with changes seen as soon as summer 2023, Project Manager Doug Johnson told the Boston Globe

The initial proposal sought to increase bus services by 25% and give 275,000 more people access to daily buses that come every 15 minutes or less, MBTA General Manager Steve Poltak told The Globe. This new map is also part of a larger effort to create more bus lanes and electrify buses

Although unable to include every change requested by the public, the MBTA changed 85 of 133 bus routes in the May proposal. The revisions improve access to hospitals and senior centers and reduce walk times for older riders or riders who traverse uneven ground or sidewalks. A comprehensive list of changes to each route is on the agency’s website

The MBTA currently faces bus driver shortages, causing numerous service changes and reduced bus frequencies. The agency seeks to hire 750 drivers to meet the proposed changes, said Melissa Dullea, senior director of service planning, according to The Globe.

Poftak expects the proposed bus service upgrades to cost $425 million over the next six years. 

The MBTA will hold a public meeting to discuss the revised proposal on Nov. 2.