Though many parts of Greater Boston are well served by public transit, many of the city’s main arterial roads become heavily congested during peak traffic hours. Bus routes on surface streets are often slow and insufficient, and fail to meet the growing needs of the communities they serve. A gold-standard BRT corridor in the Boston area could drastically reduce travel times and making for a better, more attractive trip, comparable to the T. Ultimately, gold-standard BRT on the right corridor in the Boston area is likely to provide a better travel experience for lower income Boston residents and to attract people out of their cars, reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide.
In December 2012, through a grant from the Barr Foundation, ITDP began working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and a BRT Study Group convened by the Barr Foundation to explore whether and where gold-standard BRT could be successful in the Boston area and to build political and community support. Using analyses of existing bus demand, bus speeds, existing street design, and city development plans, ITDP is helping to determine which streets could benefit most from gold-standard BRT. Through continuing technical work, ITDP leads the technical side of the BRT Study Group, providing ongoing analyses of gold-standard BRT designs on the various corridors currently on the table. Through study tours to Mexico City, including a specially arranged Mexico City BRT bus tour for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, ITDP has been inspiring Greater Boston stakeholders to imagine true BRT on their own streets. Once a corridor has been selected, MassDOT has committed to taking it forward and ITDP will assist with the first steps towards ensuring that the corridor is designed as gold-standard BRT.
A map of potential BRT corridors in Boston. ITDP has worked closely with the Boston BRT Study Group and local communities to determine routes that would being the most benefits to the region.