BOSTON. Stuart Spina, 17, has been riding the MBTA since childhood, his family has never owned a car and his fascination with transportation started as a kid collecting bus schedules.
The teen presented to the MBTA Board of Directors nine months of observations, research and recommendations about 12 MBTA bus routes Thursday. The routes, which primarily travel through Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, have long been the source of complaints from riders who claim they are unreliable and consistently late.
“I heard so much about how unreliable service was I wanted to look into it and see what’s going on behind the scenes,” said Spina, who is working with the T Rider’s Union, an advocacy group.
Spina befriended bus drivers and studied schedules. But most of all, he spent a lot of time riding the T.
The chronic issues he noticed included: bunching of buses, overcrowding and delays in boardings at key stations, like Dudley Square.
Spina recommended more buses be added to the afternoon peak hours which experience the worst delays and schedules be padded with more time during rush hour so operators aren’t up against impossible goals. He also said T employees should use handheld CharlieCard validators to accelerate boarding at Dudley.
His recommendations were welcomed by the Secretary of Transportation, Bernard Cohen, who promised T officials would follow up with him for a meeting.