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Newton Buses Affected by Proposed MBTA Cuts [POLL]

A public meeting on the proposed cuts will be held in Newton on Jan. 17.

Do you rely on MBTA buses to get to and from the Newton area? will likely affect your commute. 

The MBTA has proposed two service scenarios; in both cases, service cuts are made to bus lines that run through Newton including the #52, #59, #556 and #558. Numerous other routes that run on the outskirts of the city will also be affected. 

According to the MBTA's impact analysis, the first scenario looks to eliminate bus routes that are not meeting a "cost standard", or a cost that is greater than three times the MBTA's average net cost per customer. This scenario eliminates 23 weekday routes, 19 Saturday routes and 18 Sunday routes.

To review the MBTA's full cost analysis, check out the .pdf to the right. 

In addition, the first scenario proposes raising rates by 43 percent, which would increase bus fares from $1.25 to $1.75 on a Charlie Card.

The second scenario will eliminate and change routes to save an estimated $60 million. Those service eliminations will be based on cost and coverage area, the cost analysis says. 

In exchange, the second scenario looks to improve frequencies of the remaining bus routes by 10 percent.

The second scenario also increases fares by 35 percent, which would put bus Charlie Card fares at $1.75. 

Overall, the bus route cuts in the first scenario will affect 2 percent of riders system-wide, remove 48 buses and eliminate 110 MBTA jobs. The second scenario will affect 24 percent of the MBTA bus riders, remove 261 buses and eliminate 564 MBTA jobs, according to the analysis.

The MBTA will be holding 20 public meetings throughout the state over the next couple of months to hear feedback and questions about the proposed fare increases and service cuts. A meeting will be held in Newton on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the War Memorial at . 

Below is a list of Newton area MBTA buses that are facing cuts:

Bus Scenario 1 Scenario 2 52 Weekday & Saturday service eliminated** Weekday & Saturday service eliminated** 51 No cuts Weekday & Saturday service eliminated** 57 No cuts No cuts 59 Sunday service eliminated Weekday, Saturday & Sunday service eliminated 60 No cuts Weekday, Saturday & Sunday service eliminated 170 Weekday service eliminated* Weekday service eliminated* 500 Weekday service eliminated* Weekday service eliminated* 501 No cuts Weekday service eliminated* 502 No cuts Weekday service eliminated* 503 No cuts Weekday service eliminated* 504 Saturday service eliminated** No cuts 505 No cuts Weekday service eliminated* 553 Saturday service eliminated** Weekday and Saturday service eliminated** 554 Weekday and Saturday service eliminated** Weekday and Saturday service eliminated** 555 Weekday service eliminated* Weekday service eliminated* 556 No cuts Weekday service eliminated* 558 No cuts Weekday service eliminated*

*Currently no weekend service
**Currently no Sunday service 

Cindy Lacey January 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM
This is appalling. Combining the proposed commuter rail cuts and bus route eliminations, Newton residents on the North side of the city will have no transport into and out of the City of Boston on weekends and evenings. The 59 bus is a main route to the subway (Green line). The 553/554 is the main route through the North side of Newton and the 504 is the only bus route into Boston on weekends.
Alan Nogee January 10, 2012 at 06:09 PM
They would have a major impact on the South side as well. The 52 connects to Dedham & serves the Brown & Oak Hill Middle Schools & Newton South, connecting with Newton Center, Newton Corner, express buses, and Watertown. The 59 runs to/from Needham, and links the Lower Falls, Needham St, Highlands, Newton North High, Newtonville, commuter rail, Auburndale & Watertown.
David Lobron January 11, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I rely on the 505 and 556 to get to work, and I think many other people do as well. I can vouch that both routes are packed at rush hour. I think the MBTA is under-counting ridership, because drivers often wave people aboard without requiring them to swipe their pass. If these routes are eliminated, it will mean more pollution and traffic.
karin s January 17, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'm very upset about the proposed cuts, especially bus 59. I'm handicapped and can't drive and depend heavily on the bus and T for transport for bus and work.
Arrr! January 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM
$6.50 for Zone 1 Commuter Rail from Newtonville. That's only 8.4 miles, or $0.77/mile. I can drive my 5-passenger car for less; IRS says you can only deduct $0.55/mi. You would think the "T" would have economy of scale, with hundreds or a thousand people on each train. "T" needs to be declared insolvent & break their union contracts, and increase fares, and reduce service. $10 subsidy for each passenger on the 52 bus? You should take a $20 cab ride instead of me paying $10 to subsidize you.
khluvr621 January 17, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I rely on the 556, 558, and 59. 70 runs about a mile away & the closest stop w/ the 52 & 57 is 3 miles to Galen St. I get the monthly link passes - which does not cover the Pike. The 556 is my reliable link to the 57 in order for me to get to Brookline/Boston. I'm already having to walk the mile to Waltham for the 70 on the weekends. I do not wish to do this every day of the week.
A.N. Frost January 25, 2012 at 06:37 PM
This is simply unacceptable. These buses (esp., for us, the 59 and 558) are essential transportation to work. Whatever it takes to avoid cuts should be effected -- higher fares, greater subsidies if necessary. Cutting essential transportation for the working public and adding to gridlock on the roads are completely inappropriate solutions, no matter how extensive the T mismanagement and deficit may be.

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