New bus and bike lanes established in Downtown Boston

The new Washington Street bus lane will save 24,000 weekday riders up to 12 minutes

July 07, 2020
New bus and bike lanes established in Downtown Boston
Image: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the City of Boston this week announced the completion of nearly a mile of new bus lanes and other multimodal improvements along Washington Street in Downtown Boston and the city's Chinatown neighborhood. 

“Our partnership with Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston is critical for building a better T, and keeping our passengers, operators, and the region safe as Metro Boston recovers from the pandemic,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a statement. “These improvements mean that people riding buses and bikes from Roxbury can get to job opportunities and services faster, safer, and more reliably.” 

Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s comprehensive transportation plan, highlighted the reliability of public transit—and bus service in particular—as a top priority. Since the introduction of Go Boston 2030 in 2017, action has been taken on more than half of the 58 projects and policies identified in the plan.  

According to a Boston Transportation Department and MBTA analysis, the new Washington Street bus lane will save 24,000 weekday riders up to 12 minutes on trips from Nubian Square into downtown, offering commuters significantly more reliable transit service. 

Since 2018, the MBTA and the City of Boston have partnered to improve transit commutes for thousands of bus riders in Roslindale, Allston, and Downtown Boston. MBTA says it continues to work with the City of Boston to work together on important initiatives to reduce crowding and improve reliability of bus service in the city, including additional bus lane projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transportation improvements along the corridor include: 

  • Bus Improvements: Between Herald Street and the intersection of Stuart and Kneeland Streets at Tufts, the right general traffic lane was replaced with a bus- and bike-only lane.
  • Bicycle Improvements: The shared bus and bike lane along Washington Street in Roxbury and the South End was extended to the intersection of Stuart and Kneeland Streets at Tufts.
  • Safer, Concentrated Loading Zones: A new, block-long designated loading zone was installed along Washington between Boylston Street and Avery Street.

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SOURCE: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

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