The MBTA has announced schedule changes for Salem bus routes effective Monday. These changes were first put forth by the MBTA last winter and they affect route 450 and 456 significantly during the weekdays.
Route 456: This route will now run every 80 minutes (1 hour and 20 minutes) instead of every 60 minutes. Buses leave Salem at 9:40 AM, 11:00 AM, and every hour and 20 minutes until the last bus for Lynn at 4:20 PM.
From Central Square, the first 456 leaves West Lynn at 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM (rush-hour service), and starts its regular service at 9:00 AM, 10:20 AM and every 80 minutes until the last bus for Salem at 3:35 PM.
Route 450: Weekday service outside rush hour (9 AM to 4 PM) runs to and from Haymarket at 60 to 80 minute intervals, leaving Salem at 9:10 AM, 10:20 AM, 11:40 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:20 PM and 3:40 PM. Buses from Haymarket run at 9:10 AM, 10:20 AM, 12:00 Noon, 1:00 PM, 2:20 PM and 3:10 PM.
Route 455: Quoting the T:
The 5:19 AM outbound trip leaving West Lynn for Salem Depot will now leave at 5:16 AM.
A new trip will leave Salem Depot for West Lynn on Route 455 at 7:00 PM.
No changes to weekend service on the 450 and 455 (456 is a weekday-only route.)
The biggest changes are to the 456, a route I take most often. The T cites congestion on Western Ave. and 107. It’s true that over the past 20 years, Rt. 107 between Salem and Lynn has gotten more and more congested—the recession hasn’t changed it a bit! When the T cites “schedule adjustments”, they’re really saying they can’t keep to the schedule, or more importantly, they can’t afford to run extra buses to maintain it.
The 456 in particular gets quite a lot of use by Lynn residents who shop on Highland Ave. and use North Shore Medical Center.
As I write this the T is contemplating a 20% fare hike and service cutbacks. There’s been no news at all, despite the much heralded transportation bill before the Governor.
MBTA bus schedules are revised every quarter; the next revision will be in September. If the ax falls on MBTA service in Salem, it’ll happen in December, the next quarter after that. I’ll be watching.