Winthrop bus service

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Winthrop bus service

Postby Cltmotorman » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:29 pm

Has the town of Winthrop ever had MBTA (or MTA) bus service? It seems that the cost of living in Winthrop "bumps" up when you consider that someone has to pay twice - once to Orient Heights via Paul Revere Transportation and then pay again to take the T downtown. What was the reason for that?
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby edbear » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:38 pm

Winthrop-Orient Hts. bus service was operated by a company named Rapid Transit, Inc. Rapid Transit, Inc. went belly up some years ago. No MTA, BE or MBTA service that I know of. May have served Winthrop temporarily when Rapid Transit went out of business, but that's all.
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby BandA » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:50 pm

According to wikipedia, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston,_Revere_Beach_and_Lynn_Railroad went bankrupt in 1937, petitioned for abandonment in 1939, granted 1940, then immediately bustituted. It says the winthrop buses are MBTA subsidized, seem to have MBTA route numbers, and take charlie tickets but not charlie cards as they don't have readers. The mainline is now the blue line and proposed blue line extension.
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:15 am

Winthrop is not a part of the MBTA district. They feel they can better organize their own transit and/or are trying to keep the "lower class" out.
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby diburning » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:44 am

BandA wrote:According to wikipedia, the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston,_Revere_Beach_and_Lynn_Railroad went bankrupt in 1937, petitioned for abandonment in 1939, granted 1940, then immediately bustituted. It says the winthrop buses are MBTA subsidized, seem to have MBTA route numbers, and take charlie tickets but not charlie cards as they don't have readers. The mainline is now the blue line and proposed blue line extension.


The Winthrop bus is operated by Paul Revere Transportation. The routes (712 and 713) are subsidized by the MBTA. They do not take any form of Charlie except for 1 day, 7 day, or student passes on Charlie tickets, which are verified by the driver by visual inspection (the farebox only accepts cash). Reduced fares for students and seniors are 75¢.

MBTA does publish schedules on this service.

http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/private_bus/?loc=Winthrop
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby BandA » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:51 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Winthrop is not a part of the MBTA district. They feel they can better organize their own transit and/or are trying to keep the "lower class" out.
Surprised they weren't forced into the MBTA district, good for them. If they are not part of the MBTA district, why is the MBTA subsidizing their bus?
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:26 am

I double checked the MBTA district map, and they are shown in the district. Either the map is wrong or my memory is. Considering this is the MBTA, both are equally possible.
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby The EGE » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:08 pm

The politics of creating the MBTA from disparate systems and operators is a very complex one; I recommend Jonathan Belcher's top-notch history for a little light reading.

Winthrop was added during the 14 (MTA) to 78 (MBTA) municipality expansion in 1964. At that time, existing private operators were allowed to keep running services within the MBTA territory if they so wished. The MBTA was allowed to finance other routes, but had to subsidize or buy out existing routes. (The Eastern Mass actually sued the MBTA over the MBTA subsidizing suburban commuter service - the purpose of the 78-town expansion - and lost because it was not on the same routes the Eastern Mass used.)

The Eastern Mass eventually sold to the MBTA in 1968, and most of its bus routes were added to the MBTA system. Some routes (especially those paralleling commuter rail lines, and in out-of-district communities) were discontinued or curtailed rather quickly, and the Lowell and Lawrence local systems were eventually transferred to local operators that were the predecessors of their modern LRTA and MVRTA bus systems. The current 130s, 210s-240s, 350s, and 420s-460s routes are all ex-Eastern Mass.

The MBTA also bought up the Middlesex & Boston in 1972; some of the Waltham / Lexington routes (59, 62, outer half of the 70, 76, etc) and the 500- and 550-series buses are ex-M&B routes. The 411 and 430 are ex-Service Bus Lines, and there's a handful of other oddballs.

Rapid Transit Inc (formed in 1940 when the BRB&L went under) operated Winthrop Loop service when the MBTA took over; they were still profitable and decided not to sell, so the MBTA did not originate bus service there. They became unprofitable in 1968, but the MBTA decided it was cheaper and easier (as it often was) to subsidize them rather than to buy the lines. In 1991 the MBTA awarded the Winthrop contract to Paul Revere and Rapid Transit Inc largely disappeared; at that point the MBTA still believed it was cheaper to contract out the lines (largely due to inertia). They could choose to take over the lines, but because of various operational reasons (cash-only fares mean no free transfers, different labor contract) it's cheaper to keep them contracted. (Do note that lines previously privately run are very different from those currently MBTA-run when privatization comes up - federal labor laws allow the T to keep existing contracted lines with non-union labor, but do not allow privatization to eliminate or downgrade existing MBTA union positions).

The other 710-series bus routes have similar backgrounds. The 710 and 714 have always been bus routes; the 716 is the remainder (largely on the original route) of the Blue Hills Street Railway.
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Re: Winthrop bus service

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:57 am

My attention was called to this thread by a string of posts concerning its validity in a railroad forum. While it's tangentially related at best to railroads, and we're not a bus forum, it's an interesting read from an educational and historical perspective.

Please contact either the original poster, a moderator, an admin, via PM, or use the report function if you feel something is off-topic rather than questioning it in the thread. Then the thread becomes about the thread rather than about the subject, i.e. about the moderation.

Thanks.
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