Letter to MBTA GM regarding diesel replacement service along the 73 bus line

In response to several rider complaints, Senator Brownsberger sent a letter to the General Manager of the MBTA Dr. Beverly Scott to get more information about the deterioration of service.

January 21, 2014

General Manager Beverly A. Scott
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910
Boston, MA 02116

Dear Dr. Scott,

I am writing to share with you some of the complaints that my office has received regarding the diesel replacement service on the 73 bus line.  We have heard from many constituents who believe that service has deteriorated significantly since the removal of the trackless trolleys as part of the Trapelo Road rebuild project. 

My office first brought these concerns to the Trish Foley, the MBTA legislative liaison, who assured us that service was running on a normal schedule and that delays were likely due to construction.  She suggested that if we were able to provide her with dates and times of specific incidents, the MBTA would be able to pinpoint the problems. 

We solicited rider feedback via email and our website.  We received dozens of responses from riders that were eager to have the opportunity to voice their concerns.  The bulk of the feedback was impressionistic with a few specific incidents mixed in.  From the overall response, it seems clear that service has deteriorated. 

You can view the feedback that we received here:  http://willbrownsberger.com/service-issues-on-the-waverley-bus/

Here are some areas that we would like to better understand:

  • As it stands the route is over capacity at peak hours.  How do the replacement diesel buses affect the capacity of the route?  What is the capacity difference between the trackless trolleys and the buses that are being used for replacement service?   Are buses sometimes diverted to other routes? 
  • Has the schedule stayed the same?  Have the trip times increased?  How has the switch to diesel affected pick-up and drop-off procedures at the ends of the route? 
  • What are the dispatch procedures?  What is the frequency of departures throughout the day?  What can be done to combat gaps and bunching of buses? 

I would like to be able to respond to these concerns on my legislative website: willbrownsberger.com  

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter.


Senator William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

View the original letter here.

Andrew Bettinelli
Legislative Aide
Office of State Senator William N. Brownsberger

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