The MBTA has released a map of its new proposed bus network. Here’s what to know.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a number of years."

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
An MBTA bus. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

In five years, MBTA officials hope that buses will run to many more areas, much more frequently.

As part of the transit agency’s new Bus Network Redesign, 275,000 more residents will have access to high-frequency service, meaning a bus every 15 minutes or less, every day of the week, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a Monday presentation.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a number of years,” he said. “It is a really exciting inflection point.”

Monday marked the release of the new draft map of the bus network redesign. With the new system, buses would expand from 15 corridors to 30, with 50 percent of service being frequent instead of the current 27 percent.


New, all-day service would expand to Everett, Lynn, Medford, South Boston, West Roxbury, and Somerville. The Longwood Medical and Academic Area, or LMA, would also have six frequent routes instead of the current two.

The current system, according to Poftak, is “decades of different ideas, different plans, and different needs.”

“This region has obviously changed,” Poftak said. “The origins where people live, the destinations where they work, where they go to school, has changed a great deal, and we would like to change with it. We would like to not only become more efficient in terms of how we get people from place-to-place, but also figure out where we need to add additional service.”

A map of a portion of the proposed new bus routes being developed by the MBTA.

The new system would bring four frequent routes to Everett, an increase from the current single route. Two frequent routes would be installed to Lynn, which currently doesn’t have any, and Roxbury would see an increase to nine frequent routes from the current 6, according to the presentation.

Poftak acknowledged that one of the ongoing challenges the transit agency faces is staffing shortages.

“It’s going to be an ongoing challenge for us to make sure that we’re able to staff up and provide that 25 percent more service,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan, and that doesn’t mean that our goal when we are building our workforce shouldn’t be to provide this 25 percent increase in service.”


With the draft map released, the MBTA is planning to move into a second phase of outreach.

This fall, the network design will be finalized and followed by another round of outreach planned after that. The first phase of implementation is planned to begin in 2023 and to continue for five years.


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