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News Alert
Bomb Threat at UMass Boston, Building Evacuated

Power Up! Wi-Fi and Outlets Coming to a Bus Near You

No word yet on what advances may prevent fellow commuters from falling asleep on your shoulder.

Credit: mass.gov/transportation.
Credit: mass.gov/transportation.

What's better than more leg room on a bus?

How about better bathrooms, Wi-Fi and power outlets to start. 

An unreachable dream? Luckily, no. All four will be coming your way soon thanks to a new program meant to increase intercity and commuter transportation options across the state and throughout New England, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced this week. 

BusPlus, a public/private partnership between MassDOT and Yankee Line, Inc., is meant to provide new regional buses to private for-profit bus companies and will allow for new services to begin in early 2014. The grant program is federally-funded, and includes replacement of 31 regional buses with new, state-of-the-art vehicles. 

The program is funded by a Federal Transit Administration State of Good Repair grant and will be overseen by MassDOT’s Rail & Transit Division, and the initial BusPlus regional bus purchase will provide 31 new buses.

Advances in safety will come with these creature comforts: fully-outfitted restrooms, increased leg room, new comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, and 110V power outlets at every seat, according to the announcement. 

The companies involved, in return, will need to deliver regional services improvements and be responsible for all bus maintenance and operating costs, according to MassDOT. 

The following services are expected to begin early this year:

  • Yankee Line: Acton, Concord to Boston (Back Bay), one additional round-trip to Concord, Monday through Friday, expected to begin March 17.
  • The new schedule will add a 9:20 a.m. departure from Concord to Boston and a 2:50 p.m. departure from Boston back to Concord. The schedule is meant to supplement existing schedule that departs Acton at 7 a.m. and Concord at 7:10 a.m., with a return departing Copley Square in Boston at 5:05 p.m. every Monday through Friday, save holidays. 

Additional BusPlus serves involving other bus companies serving other communities are also expected to begin in early 2014, according to MassDOT. 

Sam February 27, 2014 at 09:43 AM
You watch over the next 5 years how the costs we are expected to pay increase with this program. Just because we are offered federal funding to get this off the ground does not mean we should just take it. Sweet deal for this private company hat is paid via the govt to get going then reaps profits as well. Good gig if you can get it. Has there been any real analysis done on rider usage both present and future? Analysis done on future costs? Assuming that we are now privatizing (in a sense) is the MBTA going to be reducing staff and fees? What is the savings to the state there? I'm all for letting this go private, but like all govt run programs I guarantee there will be no real reduction by MDOT, and in the end we will still pay for it.
Prometheus February 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM
Money from anyone ALWAYS has strings attached....strings = slavery.
NoTyme4BS February 27, 2014 at 03:40 PM
I just wished they would show up as schedule..but that seems like a lost cause.

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