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Never mind commuters from the North Shore, what about all the people in South Boston trying to get to work?

The front of the line to get on a bus in South Boston this morning

Only the front of the line.

Carina Flynn videoed the lines of people hoping they can get on a 7 bus in South Boston this morning:

The line continues:

People waiting for the 7 bus

Needless to say I’m taking the #9 and rolling the dice on the Red Line.

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Comments

This video should be shown at every zoning board hearing when developers want to overbuild and create dense housing units,
BTW nobody feels bad for these people but the people standing here themselves.

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Did a major build out in southie happen that I missed?

Not counting the one the spurred all the triple deckers of course

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This is nothing new it was like this before COVID hit and nothing has changed.
The T, state reps/senator and city councilors have done nothing to address it.

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This is a light day compared to how it usually is.

I have absolutely no idea why people keep coming here.

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It's not overbuilding, it's the inability for a "world-class" city not to adapt to change. It's pathetic. The change should be simple, add more busses. The end.

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Finally, some proof that the T sucks! We had no idea that the T sucked! It always worked so well in the past.

developers want to overbuild and create dense housing units,

So what's the alternative? Build single-family homes on 1/4-acre lots outside of 495 somewhere? And have all those residents drive into the city every day? Sounds like a winner.

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I agree its been going on for years now - "so buy a condo in South Boston near M Street beach and public transportation" but oops sorry you might have to wait a few minutes for a bus - they aren't the only ones waiting for a bus in the morning its just the only one going to the Financial District - at least their bus shows up if your waiting on the other corner of L & Bway for the #9 or #10 bus going to Copley your stuck waiting because they have to 2-3, #7 buses that I see in about a 10-15 minute spam every morning while we're still waiting for ours - if the other buses don't show your waiting 30-40 minutes until the next one.

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Buses with lines like this should be on the fast track to become trains.

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Many of the bus routes in Boston used to be street car routes, including the 7 Bus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston-area_streetcar_lines

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Yes, and their right of ways should have been protected/improved rather than replaced with buses.

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Yes, and their right of ways should have been protected/improved rather than replaced with buses cars.

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Basic geometry disagrees with you.

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My bad I misunderstood but in this case no the cars were part of the justification but the busses replaced the trolley. That there are still lines for the bus shows how inadequate cars are as a replacement.

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My point is the street cars gave way to cars not buses...the buses are just what they replaced the street cars with because they couldn't provide zero public transportation. They could have kept street cars...or even added a light/heavy rail option and told the cars to fuck off. But they didn't. Cars won.

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had a plan for diesel powered trains operating on the commuter lines so there were more runs per hr. Part of that plan was to have a line from the convention center to the Back Bay. Baker didn't like that plan (wasn't for the benefit of cars). We need more cross town options that aren't centered on single hubs. And more buses on certain lines (cough 57).

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Not because I like Baker, but because it was a very dumb idea. It would have required crossing the entire Old Colony and Fairmount Lines at grade. These lines have quite-specifically timed trains every 10 minutes because of single-tracking, so adding another conflict wouldn't help, plus, with 9 or 10 trains per hour between these three lines, there's not much capacity you could put across a flat junction. Then it would be a slow, circuitous route to get to Back Bay, where it would then have to cross over the entire NEC to reach tracks with any capacity for a turn-back (the Worcester Line) which would probably be worse. Then once on the Worcester Line they'd either have to foul tracks at Back Bay while turning back and holding for schedule (not great) or run out to turn back where there's room for an extra track (somewhere out in Allston). Plus it wouldn't really serve anything but the edge of Southie (it wouldn't have been useful for anyone in this post) and basically just duplicate the #9 bus from there except with a more roundabout routing (the 9 could use bus lanes … you know, if Berkeley didn't need 3 lanes for cars).

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The logistics/practicality issues with the idea are real (and significant).

Some of what you say, however, is not correct.

The Fairmount Line is not single track.
The Fairmount Line did not and does not have anything close to 10-minute headways.
The proposed service wasn't for "the edge of Southie". It was to connect Back Bay/Copley tourist/visitors destinations with Seaport/Cruise terminal.

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The Fairmount Line is not single-tracked, although technically the end is up at Readville. And, no, it has a train every 45 minutes in each direction, so about three trains per hour. Add that to six trains per hour (in and out) on the Old Colony at rush hour, which is the max they can do with the single track there.

And sure, the line wasn't for Southie, but then again, it wouldn't have helped at all with what OP posted about.

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And the trains should run like trains, not like farm wagons pulled by donkeys with serious health conditions. But your point is valid: it's a tangible demonstration of demand.

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How's that "workforce housing" workin' out for ya? Conveniently located near buses and subway.

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Looks like the bus is pretty popular! In many parts of America there wouldn't be a bus for them to wait for.

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I'm old enough to remember when everyone was in a panic about remote work.

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According to Google maps, it's a 13 minute bike ride (2.4 miles) from East Broadway and Farragut Road in Southie to Otis and Summer Street downtown.

It's not for everyone, but many of the people in these videos look like they are fairly young and physically fit enough to try it on a sunny day like today.

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The T could have better service.

"They should bike" is not the answer for many of them.

If you show up at the office on a day like today, dripping sweat, and plopping down at the law firm's chair, you are going to get looks. You will.

Not everyone works at the start up brewery / air soft gun start up in a loft near Greentown labs.

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Most of these folks are appropriately dressed for summer.

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So it's OK to show up to work sweaty if you're wearing summer clothes?

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Sweating is one of the super powers of being a human, and I'll be damned if some puritan is going to stop us being human.

As we say round ours: Wind yeh neck in.

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If you know it's going to be hot, its pretty easy to bring a change of clothes and change before your work day.

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I hate to agree with John, but these folks are all young professionals, dressed preppy smart. They are not folks who appear to be looking forward to working in sweaty clothes. That being said, I wonder how many work at fancy places that have showers and bike lockers, I imagine many, but not all, do. (Source: this is my bus)

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When they designed my office building in the mid-90's, the powers that be insisted on 1 shower room per floor and plenty of bike racks outside. My 5 mile daily ride is only possible because I can shower at work. There should be a zoning code that mandates some number of showers per floor/worker in new construction or renovation.

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Burt Bacharach said it best:

Knowing when to leave
May be the smartest thing
Anyone can learn
Go!

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Wrote the lyrics. Burt the tune.

Light brains there?

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If you can walk without getting "all sweaty," you can bike without getting "all sweaty." You don't need to commute on a bike at Tour de France exertion rates.

Signed -- someone who biked into an office environment all summer without a problem

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I walked a half mile to my office this morning and was sweating profusely

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People have different bodies, different metabolisms, different levels of physical fitness and different thresholds at which they start to sweat. It's moronic to assume that because you once biked in summer without a problem, that nobody else will have a problem.

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Show me where somebody said people should be forced to bike. You are having a conversation with nobody when you raise these "not everybody can bike" talking points. Granted and acknowledged -- not everybody can bike. Other people who can, might consider the option over the Southie bus situation.

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You have misstated my point entirely.

I said that one does not need to exert his or herself on a bike anymore than they do on foot. So if you can walk to work without a sweat problem, you could bike to work without a sweat problem. Maybe you'll have a sweat problem either way, but that's not a reason not to bike either then.

And for those with difficulty with reading comprehension, no one has said that "nobody else will have a problem [on a bike]."

My signature was to share my personal experience, it was not a guarantee about what others will experience or what they must do.

Is biking feasible for many -- yes!

If you hate bikes -- don't bike!

Is this all clear?

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.

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I'll ask again because you dodged it yesterday, do you have experience in the AEC or real estate industry?
https://www.universalhub.com/comment/938626#comment-938626

Developers and building owners will need to be pushing for improved amenities for tenants:
https://www.us.jll.com/en/views/three-amenities-owners-are-adding-to-off...

JLL research shows that by 2025, properties that incorporate a diverse roster of amenities will experience 12% higher demand from tenants versus their plain commodity counterparts. Landlords can get the biggest bang for their buck by investing in health and wellness initiatives, hospitality services and outdoor spaces, all of which will increase foot traffic and provide a top-notch experience for tenants, according to JLL’s Global Flex Report.

And Cambridge has bike facility requirements through their Parking and Transportation Demand Management Ordinance, for example:
https://www.cambridgema.gov/cdd/transportation/fordevelopers/ptdm

More incentive like this from both demand and city regulations will provide more and more bike facilities to accommodate those grave, genuine concerns you have. And its not just a benefit for those biking!

But the T should have better service, I agree biking isn't for everyone. A better network of bus lanes, more service frequency, improved infrastructure for walking/biking, alternatives to Single-occupancy vehicle transit and better traffic enforcement should help all around!

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You can easily pack a small towel, some wet wipes, extra deodorant, and a change of clothes in a small pannier. Give yourself a few minutes in the bathroom to change, and you can sit down in your law firm chair with a healthy glow and with plenty of time to spare.

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Shove your biking cult like attitude down peoples throats.

Just because people CAN bike, doesn’t mean they want to. Typical biker mentality.

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If everyone from those images doesn't bike or skips taking the bus, they'll have to drive and that could get pretty rough on traffic if they all hop into single occupancy vehicles.

Isn't assuming they can drive just as bad as assuming they can bike?

Just because people CAN drive, doesn’t mean they want to. Typical crank mentality.

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Pretty obvious when you don’t have bike blinders on.

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Try divorcing this from the bike triggers, what specifically needs to be done at/by the MBTA/City/State to fix this issue with buses in Southie?

If don't have any, thats fine, just need you to admit that you're a reactionary crank

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1 - hire more drivers
2 - hire more dispatchers
3 - buy more buses
4 - fire all upper management and make them reapply for their job

It’s really not that hard. The millionaire tax was passed for ‘23. That’s an extra (projected) $1.3b(!) extra tax revenue for just this year so I don’t even want to hear they don’t have enough money for any/all of the above.

Is this satisfactory, or are you going to continue to throw around insults. (Patiently waits for spinny to post some links from a million years ago because that’s what he does)

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However I am not an expert in any capacity to speak on terminating upper management and making them reapply for jobs.

Maybe some bus lanes are in order?

Throwing money at the problem might seem to work but from the Twitter comments it seems that even with 8 minute headways, there is still not enough to meet capacity.

Here is a scary link but don't worry, its not something about you putting your foot in your mouth again its just a recent discussion about a similar topic of increasing bus service, maybe you did see it, maybe you didn't:
https://www.universalhub.com/2023/boston-looking-how-make-39-and-57-buse...

The projection there at the end is golden, I think someone is a little sensitive about being called out on their hypocrisy!

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But it's weird to act like it's the equivalent of gathering an expedition of voyageurs to search for the Northwest Passage, as opposed to something that millions of people across a wide range of fitness levels and economic classes do as some part of their daily commutes.

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"as opposed to something that millions of people across a wide range of fitness levels and economic classes do as some part of their daily commutes."

Yup they take public transportation or drive.

As you can see from the picture, some people want to take the bus.

Sorry to shatter your dreams that we don't all want to do what you do.

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Some of us do not want to treat our places of employment like they are locker rooms. Trust me on this.

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Yes, the T should be better, and yes, bike riding is not for everyone. But bike riding can definitely be a bigger part of the solution. The issues you identify are in many cases not so valid when people actually try bike commuting. I bring a towel and change of clothes with me to the office. The towel (and some deodorant) work fine to clean me up, and the change of clothes makes me presentable. Employers could also step up to make it a more feasible and desirable option by adding showers and changing rooms to their employee amenities. The point is, there are some options besides either driving or suffering through a massively under resourced public transit system.

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"Some of them", not most or all. I would not have suggested it for people living in Roslindale, Hyde Park, or outermost Brighton, nor would I have suggested it on the rainy days we've recently had. But this is 13-minute flat ride from a very nearby neighborhood. It is almost certainly faster than taking the bus.

Google's bicycle speed estimates are pretty conservative. For this trip, they assumed a speed of about 11 miles per hour.

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I've ridden through there and it's pretty quick, though riding on L Street isn't very comfortable with ongoing construction and all of the people double parking outside the Dunks walk-up window. I usually end up taking the long way around on Day Blvd to avoid the crowded street (and the hill there).

In speaking to a lot of people about riding to work, I hear a lot of "I'd be too scared to do that". There is a big belief among car / bus / train commuters that biking to work is just plain unsafe in the city, which isn't entirely untrue.

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It is intimidating at first, but it is getting better. When I lived in Southie I had a one speed cruiser that I got around very easily in. The downtown traffic was dangerous but for several years i would chain my purple bike to the Broadway bridge entrance to the Broadway station and cut my commute time in half.

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You can't go by looks as to whether someone has the physical capability to ride a bike. Same as you can't judge someone using an accessible parking spot (with appropriate hang tag).

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The fact that some people have non-visible physical limitations does not mean that you cannot make generalizations. Please re-read the original comment, which includes modifiers such as "It's not for everyone," and "many of these people."

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However, bicycles actually multiply your physical effort very efficiently. There are many physically challenged people that cycle with less effort than walking.

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And you take your life in your hands a few times. Many sections don’t even have a painted gutter, and the cars, trucks and double parked vehicles are not usually accommodating. Even where Seaport has the separated lanes, there’s always cars in the lanes and pulling dangerous turns. It’s not for everyone.

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Seriously, it’s going to be 92 degrees today. If that doesn’t scream “safe outdoor exercise” I don’t know what does!

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I wish the bicyclists on this site would stop projecting their love of riding a bike to work on the rest of it. Most of us don't want to or can not take a bike for many many reasons.
Taking a bike to work is something you do. It's not some special good thing that makes you better than the rest of us. And please stop thinking that somehow if more people used bikes that would make everything better

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.

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This a 1000% projection of your insecurity.

Nobody actually argues that they are better than you. You "hear" it because you feel less than. You keep trying to bully people in arguments because you can't understand and use facts.

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I do feel I am better than a lot of the commenters here. A willingness to consider alternative transportation is part of that. Reading comprehension is another.

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don't forget understanding fractions!

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Summer st is awful to bike on. Absolutely awful. The city should fix that

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I recall it as being basically flat, and well-paved without significant potholes.

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4 lane road treated like a highway by drivers with a painted bike gutter.

You get buzzed constantly by people exceeding the 25mph limit by a good clip. It absolutely could be good, but that might upset some drivers.

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Bus 7 has been like this since I moved to Southie in 2013. The thing is, when it's very hot or very cold, suddenly no body walks or bikes, and the 730-9 am hour is pandemonium. After 10, almost no one is on the 7.

One problem os that Bus drivers make no effort to get people to move back on the bus, and once there are people clustered near the driver, they don't stop the bus anymore, and you can see 3-4 busses drive by a full stop, with the whole center of the bus empty and everyone crammed in the front.

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This is nothing new. This particular stop on the #7 has seen crowds like this for the last 20 years.

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Imagine if the city had Lime or Bird scooters? Could be the South Station in less than 5 minutes. If I had that commute I would just buy my own and scoot scoot down L Street

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you would think that any private company would look at this as a market opportunity.

Not the MBTA.

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With what money? Who do you think funds the T? You know it doesn't make a profit off of fares, right?

Yes, ideally the T would be using this as a "marketing" example to get funding for running more buses and putting in separate lanes with signal priority, but the governors (especially corporate vandal Charlie Baker) haven't wanted to ask for more funding and the hacks on Beacon Hill currently led by speaker-for-life Mariano and president-for-life Spilka either hate the T or are happy to not do anything about.

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There's no profit in it.

Remember, a long time ago the T used to be the Boston Elevated Railway Company. It couldn't make any money, so it ended up in public hands.

So did most of the private streetcar/bus companies hereabouts. They all ended up under the umbrella of the MBTA, because there was an essential service needed that couldn't be done for profit.

This is also why the New York Central, New Haven, and Boston and Maine Railroads no longer run the commuter rail as they used to. They lost money doing it.

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*

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Company called Bridj.

And they focused on the high demand areas, presumably with profitability and high value in mind.

Unfortunately, they were trying to fill a gap between the highest cost services with the most flexibility (Uber/Lyft) and the lowest cost ones (mbta).

There just doesn't seem to be enough money in this niche.

https://www.wbur.org/news/2017/05/02/bridj-shutdown

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The 7 bus dropped three trips this morning (probably one of the 6 buses on the route didn't show).

In the past, that wouldn't have been too much of an issue, since pre-pandemic, the 7 bus ran 18 trips per hour between 7 and 9 a.m. Now, the bus runs only 7 trips per hour at peak hour: a 61% service cut. Overall, the route has seen a 43% service cut on weekdays by number of inbound trips.

If I were a Southie pol I'd be calling the T and asking "WTF?"

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The current 7 is supposed to be upgraded to the new T7, running from City Point to Sullivan via North and South Stations at a frequency of every 15 minutes or less, each and every day.

That translates to at least four trips per hour, much less than the seven trips now and for a longer distance. So, the buses will either be even more crowded, or the MBTA would be forced to use articulated buses to cram on even more passengers.

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The T designation means a MINIMUM frequency of 15 minutes all day every day. They were probably not planning to reduce frequency.

Yknow, if they can ever hire enough people to run that redesign.

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The problem is.. everyone complained about how this project would change busses. People bitched because some places lost bus routes (because they mirrored train lines) or that stops now were 'too far away' from them. When in reality these were all just personal preferences that people were complaining about.

NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY. is pretty much what i gathered reading much of the public comments.

I think this project is dead in the water.. too many changes for people.

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which addressed many of the concerns people raised in hearings for the first version (such as that it took bus service away from Somerville that people needed in order to connect to the brand-new Green Line stations). And I think the MBTA board approved it.

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Is a solution desperately in search of a problem.

The history: From 2008 to 2014 Houston lost 30% of its bus ridership (old link because I still need to update my certificates). They decided that they had to completely redesign the system since it didn't serve the center of demand, they did so, and it was successful. Some consultants saw dollar signs and started pitching bus network redesigns to other agencies with bus performance issues, and some of those agencies (cough MBTA cough) thought "hey, here's a quick fix for our buses."

Only it's not fixing what's broken. The problem with the T's bus network is not that it doesn't go places that people need it to go (for the most part, there are certainly some tweaks to be made around the edges). The problem is that the buses are barely dispatched, that the schedules are unrealistic and the buses get hopelessly behind, that the T seems afraid of transit signal priority, that bus lanes that take a single parking space are nearly impossible (you know, those people driving from the Cape to Cambridge for a hair cut) and, oh, yeah, having enough drivers.

But those are hard, while throwing a few million dollars at a consultant to use Big Data to redesign bus routes is easy! I've heard some stories from this process, which has now been going for five-plus years (this early work was useful, but has not been used well). At one point they had three high-frequency bus routes converging on Newton Centre until they were told "uh, yeah, no, that's probably not a huge focus" and another route was proposed between East Milton and JFK and the consultants had to be told "yeah, pretty sure the 'demand' you are seeing are people stuck in traffic on the Expressway."

So the final map is basically the same map as today with some tweaks around the edges. Except the whole game for the consultants is "cut infrequent routes to create more frequent routes" except, again, that's not the issue in Boston. The issue in a lot of cities were infrequent, "coverage" routes which provided infrequent service to certain locations but had very little ridership. Most routes in Boston just need to be more frequent. Some routes are infrequent at rush hour but still carry full loads. Others run every few minutes but can't cope with demand. These are not problems in Houston yet the T was paying for a Houston solution. Since every route they planned to cut (at one point) had a pretty strong constituency, and many probably should be made more frequent, the T backtracked to "okay, we'll add 25% to the service levels" which is all well and good but they don't have enough buses for service today.

So instead of focusing on better operations and dispatching and making our buses and drivers more efficient, we've chased this solution for Houston for five years to get to the point where we don't have enough buses or drivers to run current service.

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As it was mentioned by another commentor, this is not a new situation. This was the reality in the pre-COVID years. YEARS!
There have been countless meetings and nothing has come from them. This situation can be seen at pretty much any bus stop in South Boston, especially along East Broadway.
We keep on hearing politicians telling us to ''Take the T." Ya. Right.
I used to make my medical appointments in the morning, but due to this situation, I now go in the afternoon. I also use Uber. The T is not reliable to the point I have confidence in getting to an appointment on time, without having to leave extra early.
Have a great day everyone!

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Instead of scrolling through your Twitter feed, just walk a measly two miles.

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By years end, this will all be resolved

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Doing nothing would be much better.

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I might have to start a dollar van business. This is a simple fix that should have been done already.Just run more busses.

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is they actually have to go in person to work while across the street you have all these layabouts working remotely and are sneaking out to Starbucks for their caffeine fix.

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Imagine, what the lines would be like if these bus routes were free? It’s been like that since 2003 when I moved to Farragut rd. Just adjust and get to work.

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