MBTA planning bus priority projects, transit upgrades for the summer in Boston

Goal of the projects is to improve bus speed and reliability as the region reopens from COVID-19 related regulations

July 07, 2021 / 2 minute read
MBTA planning bus priority projects, transit upgrades for the summer in Boston
Image: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and its partners recently announced a series of bus priority projects that will construct up to 4.8 miles of bus lanes and other transit infrastructure upgrades across Metro Boston this summer.

The goal of the projects is to improve bus speed and reliability as the region reopens from COVID-19 related regulations. These quick-build projects aim to address transit delay on some of the region’s most congested roadways in order to improve bus travel time and reliability, and move more people more efficiently to support economic recovery and public health, MBTA says.

These projects are a part of the MBTA’s Better Bus Project and Transit Priority effort, a major initiative to improve bus service and the system as a whole. Several of the projects received funding through the Baker-Polito Administration’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces grant program, which aims to improve traffic and transit conditions in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce across the Commonwealth.

“Throughout the pandemic, the bus system has been a lifeline for riders accessing jobs, healthcare, and services,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a statement. “Since spring 2020, we have worked with our municipal partners to deliver an additional nearly 5 miles of bus lanes, benefiting over 57,000 riders in some of the region’s hardest-hit communities. These projects are testimonies to our shared commitments to advancing equitable mobility, and why we want to deliver another nearly 5 miles of infrastructure this year. These projects would not have been possible without the tireless work of our municipal partners.”

Bus lanes in the Town of Brookline and the City of Revere will be the first bus priority facilities to be constructed in those municipalities, bringing the total number of metropolitan area communities with bus lanes on local streets to nine. Other projects in cities including Lynn, Malden, and Somerville will build on recently completed, adjacent projects, further building a network of bus priority facilities in communities that have seen durable transit ridership throughout the pandemic.

A complete overview of projects to be constructed during spring and summer 2021 can be found on MBTA's website.

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SOURCE: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

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