Communities around Greater Boston, in partnership with the MBTA, will seek to create faster and more reliable commutes for thousands of bus riders through three pilot projects testing bus rapid transit (BRT) features over the course of 2018.
- Arlington: In collaboration with the MBTA, Arlington will conduct a one-month pilot of several BRT elements on the three-mile #77 bus route along Massachusetts Avenue, the town’s main thoroughfare, which has the highest ridership in Arlington and one of the top 15 highest-ridership routes in the overall MBTA bus system. The pilot, which will operate Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., includes transit signal prioritization, bus queue jumping at traffic signals, and a dedicated bus priority lane.
- Cambridge/Watertown: Cambridge and Watertown will partner with the MBTA to pilot numerous BRT elements for bus routes on Mount Auburn Street west of Fresh Pond Parkway. Elements to be tested include all-day, dedicated bus lanes for significant segments of Mount Auburn Street between Belmont Street and Fresh Pond Parkway, inbound queue jump lanes on Mount Auburn Street and Belmont Street, and transit signal prioritization as feasible, which allow buses to travel without impediment from other vehicles.
- Everett: In collaboration with the MBTA, Everett will enhance its new dedicated bus lane it implemented on the south side of Broadway, the city’s main transit corridor, by adding upgrades to further demonstrate elements of Gold Standard BRT. The pilot includes “platform level” boarding facilities (which allow of ease of boarding for riders in wheelchairs, strollers, or carts) at two bus stops in Everett Square, and TSP at three locations along Broadway that give southbound buses priority during peak-hours.
The pilots are made possible by three $100,000 grants from the Barr Foundation. As part of the grant funding, BostonBRT will assist communities with coordination between state and municipal agencies, pilot design and implementation, communications, and community engagement.
BostonBRT issued a Request for Proposals in March 2017 to Massachusetts cities, planners, transit advocates, and community organizations who are interested in piloting bus rapid transit projects in local communities. A selection committee comprised of Massachusetts transportation leaders and BostonBRT technical consultants reviewed submissions. Criteria include the quantity of BRT elements included within proposals, proof of concept, potential impact (including density of population and employment), and municipal and community support.
Download the PDF with details of the Request for Proposals or view below.
Update: RFP Q&A 4/28/2017 [link to PDF]