More morning service coming to the T next week
Hey, early risers — finally, there is a bus for you.
Next week, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority begins additional early morning service on a handful of busy bus routes.
The agency is adding either additional early morning service or starting the first trip earlier for nine weekday bus routes that are already in high demand during their first trips of the day. These include the 104 between Malden and Charlestown, the 70 between Waltham and Cambridge, the 31 between Mattapan and Jamaica Plain, and more. (More details can be found at mbta.com/earlyAM.)
A 10th bus line — the 117 between Revere, Chelsea, and East Boston — will also run earlier on Saturdays.
The MBTA will test the additional early morning service for one year. While most of the additions are modest — most of the routes will start running about 20 minutes earlier in the morning — they could have a major ripple effect by thinning crowding later in rush hour.
“As people leave earlier, that means we’ll have more capacity freed up for people who leave later,” T general manager Luis Ramirez said. “The idea is to provide a consistent service throughout the rush hour.”
T officials have been considering offering earlier starts to select lines since 2016, when they canceled late-night weekend bus and subway service. It was approved last summer after being further developed with a transit advocacy group.
The MBTA is also still considering an all-night bus route running every half hour linking Logan International Airport and South Station to Chelsea and Mattapan to help airport employees get to and from work. While private companies have balked at providing the service for the T, Ramirez said he hopes to put together a final proposal “in the next few months.”
“It is something I would like to find a way to get done,” he said.