, Salem, MA

February 15, 2014

Letter: It’s time to start improving MBTA bus service

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The night of Friday, Jan. 17, was a horror night riding the MBTA buses.

I took a 6:39 p.m. bus from Liberty Tree Mall to the Witch House in Salem to get the 450 bus to Highland Avenue/Fairweather Apartments, arriving at approximately 7 p.m. at the corner of Essex and Summer streets.

Every bus, after leaving the Salem bus and train station at the overpass, goes by the Witch House.

When I was there, I was talking to a bus patron who was waiting for a 455 bus and she said while we were standing there, a bus that went by us had a sign saying North Station Shuttle Bus, taking riders to North Station, Boston, because of a train breakdown at the depot. And then her 455 bus came by and she left. ...

I finally got a 450 bus going to Highland Avenue at approximately 8:20 p.m., after waiting in the cold winter evening weather for one hour and 20 minutes: unacceptable.

Something should be done about this.

Many buses came by that location, corner of Essex and Summer, on their way to the Salem bus and train station, but in the one hour and 20 minutes that I was waiting for a 450 bus, only a bus shuttle saying “North Station, Boston” and a 455 bus taking the young bus patron I was talking to came by the Witch House heading out of Salem. ...

The T should be running buses like the 465 route seven days a week because the ridership is there. ...

In 2004, there was a petition drive signed by hundreds of people to bring back the Salem Willows bus route, which ran down Derby Street to the Willows and back on Essex Street to Salem Square. The petition was signed by people from Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Saugus, Revere, etc., and at the time was signed by Robert St. Pierre, the Salem police chief at the time.

There is no recreational area on the water like the Salem Willows from Boston to Salisbury Beach. Revere Beach went by the wayside many years ago.

And the T should bring back the Salem-Marblehead route, which ended approximately 13 years ago. The area along that route was always busy going by Salem State University, even busier today any time of the year.

Wally Birmingham