Last fall, the MBTA released its service plan for 2008 and I reported on the changes that the MBTA proposed for bus service to Salem. The biggest changes were to route 465, where one trip on Saturday was to be eliminated, and to route 450 and 456, which would run less frequently due to traffic congestion.
This week, the Winter 2008 schedule changes were published on the MBTA website. The only change that affects Salem is on the 465. Weekday trips leaving Salem to Danvers now leave at :45 past the hour, 5 minutes later than usual. Saturday trips depart at :05 past the hour to Danvers. Buses to Salem from Danvers leave Liberty Tree Mall a few minutes earlier than previously. Since buses to Danvers come from Beverly on their way to Salem, I presume that traffic congestion in Beverly is the cause. (The 451 and 465 are run together as one long metaroute. I seldom ride the 451 and have not ridden it to North Beverly in years, so no first hand experience here.) No changes to Beverly service.
The change that was threatened—dropping certain Saturday morning trips on the 465—has not happened so far. There were also no changes to the 450 for the winter. Of course, commuter rail is not changed.
MBTA schedules are revised seasonally, and can change. The last big change to bus service was in the summer schedule of 2002, when virtually every North Shore bus route was revised, rerouted or eliminated. It was mostly for the good then, and today’s schedule change isn’t a big deal.
But with the T’s budget as it is now, the future is darker.