From the Herald, the T quietly dropped certain bus and subway trips for budgetary reasons. Money quote:
Grabauskas attributed the improvement to hiring about 300 employees across bus, subway and maintenance divisions. In 2004 and 2005, he said, officials kept staffing at artificially low levels so the agency could keep up-front costs down but could not field enough employees to operate its bus and subway lines.
Got it in one! I've been screwed by this at least once; I was in Boston a few years ago waiting for the 450 so I could go home. I had attended some IT seminar or another and it was around 12 PM at Haymarket. Waited for the 12:15 trip to Salem--it never came. At 12:45 I have the bright idea to ask an inspector. He calls and after some minutes tells me it didn't run because they "couldn't get a driver".
At least I got an answer. It may have not been completely truthful:
“I had one very (senior-level) person say to me, ‘We knew we were dropping bus trips, so we’d go to the communities where we were dropping trips out of garages - and we would lie to people,’ ” Grabauskas said
We don't take notice of bus service, being more concerned with commuter rail. However, I take the bus more than any other mode of the T, but to most people in Salem, it's just a way for their domestics to get to work. Or not, sometimes.