The MBTA has released a map of its new proposed bus network. Here’s what you should know.


“We’ve been working on that for a few years.”

David L. Ryan/Globe Contributor

An MBTA bus. David L. Ryan/Globe Contributor

  • Redesigned MBTA bus system to offer 25% more service to 275,000 more passengers

Five years from now, MBTA officials hope buses will serve many more areas and much more frequently.

As part of the transit agency’s bus network redesign, 275,000 more residents will have access to high-frequency service, meaning a bus will run every 15 minutes or less every day of the week, MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said in a presentation Monday.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a number of years,” he said. “This is a really exciting turning point.”

The new draft map of the redesign of the bus network was published on Monday. The new system would expand buses from 15 to 30 corridors, with 50 percent of scheduled services running frequently instead of the current 27 percent.

The new all-day service would be expanded to Everett, Lynn, Medford, South Boston, West Roxbury and Somerville. The Longwood Medical and Academic Area, or LMA, would also have six common routes instead of the current two.

The current system, according to Poftak, is “decades of different ideas, different plans and different needs.”

“This region has obviously changed,” said Poftak. “The origin, where people live, the destinations, where they work, where they go to school has changed a lot and we want to change with it. Not only do we want to be more efficient in how we get people from place to place, but we also want to figure out where we need to add additional service.”

A map of a portion of the proposed new bus routes being developed by the MBTA.

The new system would bring four frequent routes to Everett, an increase over the current single route. According to the presentation, two common routes to Lynn would be installed, which currently have none, and Roxbury would see an increase to nine common routes from the current 6.

Poftak acknowledged that one of the constant challenges that transit companies face is staff shortages.

“It will be an ongoing challenge for us to ensure we can increase staff and provide 25 percent more service,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan, and it doesn’t mean our goal in building our workforce shouldn’t be to deliver that 25 percent increase in service.”

With the release of the draft map, MBTA plans to move into a second phase of outreach.

The network design will be finalized this fall and another round of outreach will then be planned. The first implementation phase is scheduled to begin in 2023 and last five years. The MBTA has released a map of its new proposed bus network. Here’s what you should know.

Rick Schindler

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