Service on the Silver Line bus anything but 'rapid transit'

May 21, 2008

Silver Line bus protestors

Our friends at No Free Transfer have started a 25 Things I Hate about the T list. Ranking at number seven is the Silver Line bus. While the MBTA promised the residents of Dorchester and Roxbury service equal to or better than the Washington Street Elevated Orange Line that was torn down in 1987, the T’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) replacement has been anything but an improvement.

The Silver Line bus has not incorporated widely used BRT innovations. Even transit-starved Los Angeles has been able to implement signal prioritization and headway-based scheduling (which would reduce the “clumping” of buses which plagues the Silver Line bus) for its BRT, and other cities are following LA’s lead.

Service on the Silver Line bus is slower and far less reliable than alternatives like the cheaper Green Line-style light rail. We urge the MBTA to stop paying for silver paint jobs and fancy BRT branding, and start making real improvements for the communities in and around Roxbury.