MBTA plans to increase bus service by 25 percent over five years

BOSTON — The MBTA is taking feedback for the next three months about its new plan to increase bus service by 25 percent over five years.

MBTA officials released a new draft map of their bus network redesign this week. Their first crack at updating the bus system in fifty years aims to bring bus service every 15 minutes, every day, to 275,000 more residents.

Roxbury, Lynn and Everett are among the areas that would see significant increases in MBTA bus service.

“As someone who is on the record criticizing the T every day, I actually think they did a pretty good job with this,” said Stacy Thompson, executive director of Livable Streets.

Thompson encourages those who have questions or concerns about the preliminary plan to speak up.

“If you’re looking at a map and you’re like, gosh this impacts me, show up to a public meeting,” said Thompson. “No decisions have truly been made yet. It’s a process. It’s a starting point.”

Thompson said based on her organization’s analysis of a 2019 report, the T needs 200 to 500 additional buses to meet the demands of the system. MBTA officials say they’re committed to working with available resources for the expanded bus network, despite financial challenges.

“The T can’t say it, but I can. They don’t have enough resources. If you want more bus service in your community, ask the legislature for more money for the T,” added Thompson.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said there are “very limited circumstances” of bus service cuts as part of the plan.