MBTA: ‘We’re Doing Our Best to Clear Snow From Bus Stops’

It's not just their responsibility either—cities and towns need to step up and do their part.

Two days after a blizzard rolled through Boston, commuters found themselves standing in the streets and climbing over snow mounds piled high on the sidewalks while waiting for an MBTA bus to arrive:

But clearing out bus stops system-wide so passengers can safely catch a ride without the risk of being mowed down by traffic doesn’t just fall on the transit agency’s shoulders—it’s also the responsibility of local municipalities to help remove the excess snow.

A combination of T employees, bus shelter contractors, and abutting property owners all bear the burden of clearing snow from the stops and shelters, according to officials, and the MBTA is doing their part. “The MBTA is working tirelessly to recover from the blizzard, and improve accessibility to its bus routes,” said MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo. “It is very difficult to keep a bus stop clear when a street plow travels by and pushes snow into the bus stop.”

Pesaturo said that until individual cities and towns that the T services complete street plowing, crews of workers who shovel for the MBTA face an “uphill climb” in trying to keep bus stops clear.

The T shut down both bus and train services earlier this week after a blizzard dropped roughly two feet of snow on the region. Buses were back up and running on Wednesday, one day after the storm, but riders still faced delays in service and the obstacle of finding a place to stand while waiting for a ride.

According to the T’s website, the transit agency prioritizes the clearing of snow from bus stops along 15 key bus routes within 24 hours after a storm, before they tackle all of the other T-owned bus shelters. To keep riders informed, they record a tally of which stops have already been cleared, and post it to their website. 

From there, it’s up to individual municipalities to carry the load. “Virtually all other bus stops are the property owner [or] abutter’s responsibility. The municipality in which the bus stop is located may have the ability to enforce snow removal, depending on the local ordinance,” according to transit officials.

The T is urging commuters to contact either them, or their respective community leaders, in the event that a stop remains unshoveled.