Boston is a city of firsts. From the beginning, the city has played a groundbreaking role in America’s transit history, with the first chartered ferries, first subway system, and strategic investments in public transportation in the 1960s. But today, our system is in serious need of improvement. It’s time for Greater Boston to bring its transit system into the 21st century, and regain its world-class standing when it comes to transportation.


Greater Boston’s transit needs are extensive. The city has fallen behind, both with upkeep of existing services, and with meeting the demands of a growing population and developing region.

Given the urgency of the problems facing our transit system today, and the city’s predicted growth, it’s crucial that we take this moment, not just to patch problems in an outdated system, but to reimagine and modernize transit to meet the city’s needs. Now is the time for smart decisions and bold action.

In September 2013, the Barr Foundation convened the Greater Boston Bus Rapid Transit Study Group, a group of stakeholders with deep ties across the metropolitan area, to investigate Gold Standard BRT. The Study Group partnered with the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) to conduct the first-ever citywide technical analysis of where BRT might make sense here, based on state transit data, and the city’s unique geography. The results are promising.


The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy is an international organization founded in 1985 by sustainable transport advocates. Today, ITDP works with cities to bring about transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of urban life.

ITDP has offices in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. ITDP employs more than 60 staff, and supplements the team with leading architects, urban planners, transportation experts, developers, and financiers. The team has worked in more than 25 countries and more than 100 cities, and is considered a leading authority on Bus Rapid Transit systems.

For more information, view the ITDP Website.