MBTA's Suburban Routes

January 1, 2022

First post of 2022, and it’s actually not a standard rant about a bus route or station, but actually a planning post.

The MBTA has a lot of different bus routes going many places, most of them feeding towards the frequent train lines to take passengers to their final destinations. There’s also the rest of the bus routes, those that serve less dense and suburban areas that are unexpectedly part of the T’s vast network. I’m looking at 4 of these routes today.

These routes are not bad at all. All 4 routes supplement Commuter Rail service and provide passengers with a cheaper way to get to their final destinations.

34E: Walpole Center - Forest Hills

The first route here is the 34E. The 34E operates along Washington St from Forest Hills at the end of the Orange Line all the way down to Walpole, passing through Dedham and Norwood. Walpole is well in the suburbs. The town’s Commuter Rail station is in Zone 4, but the route serves other stations along the Franklin Line in Zone 3 as well. The route sees 30 minute frequencies all day between 6 am and 8 pm, and hourly frequencies until 1 am on weeknights.

137: Reading Depot - Malden Center

The 137 operates from Malden Center along the Orange Line all the way to Reading’s Commuter Rail station in Zone 2, passing through Melrose and Wakefield. The route also serves other Haverhill Line stations along the way. The route sees 30 minute headways from 5:30 am to 9 pm, and hourly until 11 pm on weeknights.

220: Hingham Depot - Quincy Center

The 220 operates from Quincy Center on the Red Line all the way to the center of Hingham. There are no Commuter Rail connections along this route, but there is a connection to the contracted bus route 714, which serves Nantasket Junction in Zone 4. The route runs through northern Weymouth and Hingham, which have plenty of homes and businesses within walking distance of the route. The route sees 30 minute or better headways between 5:30 am and 12:30 am on weekdays.

451: North Beverly - Salem Depot

The 451 runs 6 trips per day between Salem and North Beverly Commuter Rail stations, which are in Zones 3 and 5 respectively. There are 3 morning trips and 3 afternoon trips in each direction. The route mainly serves locations throughout downtown Beverly, but also provides connections to other bus routes in Salem.