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.