MBTA To Cut Back On Bus Service Due To Worker Shortage

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The MBTA will be cutting back on bus services later this month due to a worker shortage, the agency announced Tuesday.

Starting Dec. 19, the MBTA will be dropping one of every 20 scheduled bus trips. This will allow some high-traffic bus routes to operate more frequently. Some routes will see an overall decrease in service while others will increase at certain times and days and decrease at others.

In total, 40 routes are affected by the changes. Bus routes seeing an increase in service are the 19, 38, and Silver Line 1 routes while the 66 and 111 busses will see less service on weekdays and Saturdays with increases in service at certain times on Sunday.

Of the 31 routes seeing an overall cutback in service, the 23 and 29 busses will see a decrease. These routes are set to be added to the City of Boston's fare-free bus pilot program next year.

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In addition to these changes in service frequency, the MBTA will also be restoring separate service in the morning and afternoon on weekdays for the 62 and 76 routes. The entire list of schedule changes is available on the MBTA website. The agency plans to discuss the changes in a virtual public meeting on Dec. 9.

These winter service changes will also affect the Mattapan branch of the Red Line, with increased service on weekend nights and decreased service on weekday mornings and nights. The Red, Orange, Green, and Blue lines will not be affected by these changes.

The MBTA said in a statement it plans to begin an "aggressive hiring campaign" to prevent further schedule changes due to lack of workers. The agency has doubled its recruitment department and is sending representatives to career fairs to help boost interest and find more potential applicants.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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