Originally slated to be terminated at the beginning of 2010, the MBTA’s Route 48 “JP Loop” bus will continue service through the summer, the Gazette has learned. But local advocates hold out little hope for finding a permanent replacement for the threatened bus route.
The MBTA’s two-year 2008 service plan called for the line to be discontinued last year because of low ridership. Community outcry, particularly from senior citizens at the Boston Housing Authority-managed Amory Apartments development at 125 Amory St., led to the bus routes life being extended through 2009.
Now the bus will continue to run through the summer, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told the Gazette in an e-mail.
Last year JP activists and city and state officials said they hoped to find private funding to hire a private carrier to take over the route, which runs on side streets where it is hard for the full-sized buses the MBTA run to maneuver.
Speaking to the Gazette recently, Michael Reiskind, a long-time bus advocate and head of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Public Service Committee, said the MBTA has twice delayed discontinuing the line, but little progress has been made in finding a private carrier.
The current route sends buses north on Centre Street from the Monument. Then they loop around Paul Gore, Lamartine and Amory streets to link the Jackson Square and Stony Brook T stations.
From Stony Brook, buses head down Amory to the Green Street T Station. The route loops again around Green, Lamartine and New Minton streets. Finally, it follows Amory and Boylston streets back to Centre Street and returns to the Monument.