Bus projects announced in Massachusetts to ease congestion in Boston

Posted: 5 July 2021 | | No comments yet

Massachusetts authorities are planning some quick-build projects in a bid to extend the bus network in Boston and help to relieve some of the most congested areas of the city.

Bus in Boston

MassDOT and the MBTA are hoping to improve the region's bus network and relieve congestion

Transit authorities in Massachusetts have together announced several sweeping projects which will improve the bus network in the Massachusetts Bay area.

Massachusetts Department of Transport (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the City of Boston, the City of Somerville, the City of Malden, the Town of Brookline, the City of Revere, and the City of Lynn say the projects will result in the construction of up to 4.8 miles of bus lanes and other pro-transit infrastructure upgrades across Metro Boston this summer to improve bus speed and reliability as the region re-opens from COVID-19-related regulations.

The MBTA says 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.

The 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 of Massachusetts.

“These are precisely the kinds of projects the Baker-Polito Administration had in mind in awarding municipalities Shared Winter Streets and Spaces funding for public transportation needs as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey L. Tesler.

“We are grateful to municipal leaders in Boston, Somerville, Malden, Brookline, Revere, and Lynn for collaborating with the MBTA to install infrastructure, including dedicated bus lanes, and having the vision to see that ‘shared streets’ are streets which are truly vital to helping residents move around safely and to encouraging people to get around in ways other than in a personal motor vehicle.”

“Throughout the pandemic, the bus system has been a lifeline for riders accessing jobs, healthcare, and services,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

“Since spring 2020, we have worked with our municipal partners to deliver an additional nearly five 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 five miles of infrastructure this year. These projects would not have been possible without the tireless work of our municipal partners.”

“These projects are vital to connecting our residents and our neighbourhoods. So many essential workers across Boston have depended on these MBTA bus routes to travel to work and keep our healthcare systems and critical services running throughout the pandemic, and long before,” said City of Boston Mayor Kim Janey.

“We need to do all that we can to support these riders through public investments like these to ensure an equitable recovery.”