UPDATED 11:55 p.m. with additional information on revised Newton bus routes.
According to the MBTA, three Newton bus routes will be eliminated with the proposed service changes and fare hikes released today. One route, the 555, will be revised.
The changes include:
- Weekday Route 500 (Express) - The route has approximately 98 riders per day and the MBTA estimates an average of eight passengers will be affected per trip. Alternatives include the Green Line with a transfer to the Red Line, if needed.
- Saturday Route 52 - The route has approximately 172 riders per day and the MBTA estimates an average of 10 passengers will be affected per trip. The MBTA says there is no alternative route for most customers. The MBTA will also reduce the frequency of the 52 bus during the week, from 45 to 90 minutes midday.
- Saturday Route 554 - The route has approximately 201 riders per day and the MBTA estimates an average of 8 passengers will be affected per trip. Alternative routes include the 553 bus, trackless trolley route 73, or the Fitchburg Commuter Rail line. There is no alternative for those between Waverley and Waltham Center.
- Route 555 - According to documents from the MBTA, the 555 bus, which currently terminates at Riverside Station in Newton, will terminate in Central Square (Waltham) under the MBTA's plan.
A full list of the eliminated bus routes is available in the .pdf box to the right.
UPDATED 11:39 a.m., with information from the MBTA:
The MBTA board plans to meet on April 4 to possibly approve the plan.
The E branch of the Green Line would remain running, but only up to the Brigham Circle stop. From there riders could take the 39 bus to get to the Heath Street area.
Overall, service changes would result in $15.4 million of savings and fare increases would generate $72.9 million. One-time revenues would garner and $61 million.
Other changes would include adding countdown signs to at the Logan Airport stop of the Silver Line, exploring off-peak pricing and consodlidating customer service to the Downtown Crossing stop.
Also, the MBTA would eliminate 51 positions and impose a hiring freeze for non-essential workers. Employees would also be enrolled in a lower cost health insurance plan.
“The proposal we put forth today reflects our current fiscal reality and the feedback we heard from customers,” said Secretary Davey. “We have put forth a solution that limits the impact on riders for one year but I encourage everyone to remain engaged in helping us find a long-term fix for the T’s budget challenges.”
MBTA fares will rise 23 percent and four bus routes would be cut as part of the MBTA's final plan to close its $161 million budget gap, according to WBZ-TV.
Fourteen other bus routes would be modified. Details of the plan are scheduled to be unveiled during a press conference today. If approved, the changes would begin on July 1.
Bus fares would rise to $1.50 from $1.25 and a subway ride would jump to $2 from $1.70. Monthly passes would rise from $59 to $70. Those fare changes apply to Charlie Chard users.
For students and seniors, bus fares will rise to 75 cents and subway rides will jump to $1. Also, the MBTA would start offering a 7-day student pass for $28.
No changes would be made for THE RIDE services, but fares would rise to $4 or $5 depending on where you live and how far you would travel.
Also, weekend commuter rail service will remain, however, weekend service on the Plymouth-Kingston, Needham and Greenbush lines would would be eliminated.
Ferry rates would rise 35 percent and Quincy ferry service would be axed, according to WBZ.
Additionally, the state Department of Transportation would use $5 million from the state's snow and ice removal fund to help close its budget gap. It also plans, with approval from lawmakers, to take $51 million from the state's vehicle inspection fund to help cover the budget deficit.