Thanks to a helpful bus driver this morning (the driver of the inbound 554 bus that passed through Newton Corner at around 8:20), my daughter and I finally found out the real explanation for why we missed the 554 bus from Newton Corner to Newtonville on Monday and Tuesday of this week. It wasn’t because of delays caused by the broken railroad crossing gate in Waltham on Monday, and it wasn’t because the bus went through Newton Corner early on Tuesday.
No, it was because the outbound 554 bus doesn’t actually stop at 400 Centre Street, which is where the Trip Planner on the MBTA Web site told us to wait for it.
The aforementioned helpful driver stopped at 400 Centre Street to let off passengers. After two days of missed buses I was all through making assumptions, so my daughter and I hustled over to the bus, despite the fact that its route sign said “downtown” and it had stopped at the point where passengers are typically let off but not picked up. The driver saw us hurrying over to the bus and was kind enough to wait for us.
When we got there, I asked if he was going to Newton, and he said no, he was going downtown. He then informed me that if I wanted the 554 to Newton, I had to be on the other side of Newton Corner. I told him the MBTA Web site had told me to wait at 400 Centre Street and asked if he was sure the outbound 554 didn’t stop there. He said he’d been driving MBTA buses for 22 years, and as far as he knew, the outbound 554 had never stopped at 400 Centre Street.
Your Trip Planner told my daughter and me to wait at 400 Centre Street (and, by the way, 554 isn’t the only route with this problem — I believe 556 has it, and I bet there are others as well). There’s a route sign posted at 400 Centre Street claiming that the 554 to Waverly stops there. These are real problems. Are you going to fix them?
I’ve written to you twice about this problem, and you haven’t given me courtesy of any reply at all, let alone letting me know that we were waiting in the wrong place. Why is that?