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Chelsea transportation issues to top agenda for MBTA oversight board

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The 111 bus from Revere to Haymarket is a particular concern—how to speed up the notoriously crowded route

Riders on a crowded bus. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The glacial pace and the frequent overcrowding (and cancellations) of the No. 111 bus from Revere to Haymarket will top the agenda of the MBTA’s oversight committee when it meets next week.

In particular, the impact of the bus route’s woes on commuters from Chelsea will be front and center as planned bridge construction threatens to slow even further what’s already the third most popular MBTA bus route.

The debate over the 111 also highlights what is sometimes called transportation equity as Chelsea residents endure a lot more than MBTA riders from more affluent areas in trying to get to downtown Boston via the 111.

“We’re talking to people who work and get paid on an hourly basis, and when they get to work late they lose income,” MBTA oversight board member Brian Lang told the Globe’s Adam Vaccaro. “And if they’re late enough they may lose their jobs.”

To accentuate the point about transportation equity, Lang cited a recent board decision to table a proposal to install new WiFi towers along commuter rail routes because of concerns from suburban property owners.

Meanwhile, the MBTA says it is already trying to speed up the 111 and alleviate overcrowding through adjusted bus-dispatching policies.