Some 29 bus routes are set to change through the MBTA system on Sunday, Sept. 1, and that will include lopping off the Assembly Row run that the Route 92 bus has made for many years.
In the long list of changes proposed throughout the system, Charlestown’s 92 and 93 buses were slated for slight changes in the Better Bus initiative earlier this year, an initiative that promised more frequent service along the heart of the route on Main Street.
However, the 93 changes – which would have skipped a stop in the Navy Yard – were scrapped, but the 92 changes stuck. Those changes included frequent trips on the route from Sullivan Station to Assembly Row Mall. It was a popular bus route particularly for the elderly in the community, as well as for some teen-agers.
A contentious meeting earlier this spring took place in the Golden Age Center with City, state and MBTA officials, but it was too late at the time to make any changes. Now, this Sunday, those changes to the 92 go into effect.
“The modifications to these select routes are the first wave of changes to improve service for close to one-third of MBTA customers who depend on our buses to get to work, school, and other activities,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “These modifications represent the most significant changes to our bus service in over a decade and are the results of both a comprehensive analysis of how our bus routes perform, and an unprecedented level of engagement with our customers.”
As part of the MBTA’s $8 billion, five-year Capital Investment Plan, the Better Bus Project’s goal is to ensure bus service lives up to the MBTA’s own standards. With one-third of transit riders depending on the MBTA’s bus service every day, these cost-neutral changes were driven by the T’s need to better serve the public and were informed by a year’s worth of input from riders, planners, cities, and elected officials.
The MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board approved changes to 53 routes in April 2019. Of those changes, 29 routes will be changing on September 1. The remainder of the changes will follow this winter or in subsequent quarters. In addition to these route changes, the MBTA is adding additional bus operators to provide better frequency on many routes during off-peak times.