Accessible Services

Stop Announcements & Route Identification on Bus

Stop announcements and route identification announcements are beneficial to all customers.  However, these announcements are crucial for customers who are blind or visually impaired  and wish to travel independently.  These announcements help customers identify which bus is at the bus stop, identify intersections, points of interest, and major transfer points to other modes of transportation.  They also help customers locate the stop in which they will need to exit the bus.  

All MBTA buses are equipped with stop announcement equipment that automatically announces the route number, the destination of the bus, and all stops along the route.  This automated equipment broadcasts the information both audibly and visually (via an L.E.D. screen located near the front of the bus).  If the automated stop announcement equipment isn't working, the Bus Operator is required to announce key stops and major transfer points.  Click here to learn about stop announcement regulations. 

On this page, you will learn more about Route Identification Announcements and Stop Announcements. You can also listen to sample announcements made on MBTA buses. 

Route Identification Announcements

What are Route Identification Announcements?

Route Identification announcements inform the customer of the route number and destination of the bus, and can be heard inside and outside of the bus. Click the link below to hear a route identification announcement sample.

Sample Route Identification Announcement:   Route 1 Service To Dudley Station 

When Should Route Identification Announcements Occur?

Route Identification announcements are made immediately after the doors of a bus open at a bus stop.


Stop Announcements

What Are Stop Announcements?

Stop announcements assist a customer in orienting themselves to their environment. There are four types of stop announcements that you may hear on an MBTA bus.

Operating Street announcements:  These announcements are made when:

  • A bus begins travel on a new street.
  • A bus turns onto a new street.

When you hear an Operating Street announcement, the first street that you hear is the "operating street", or the street that the bus is currently traveling on.  The second street you hear is the cross street.  Click the link below to hear an Operating Street announcement sample.

Sample Operating Street Announcement:   "Massachusetts Avenue at Bay Street

Cross Street Announcements:  These announcements are made as the bus continues along the same operating street.  In this case, only the cross street is announced.  Click on the link below to hear a Cross Street Announcement sample.

Sample Cross Street Announcement:   "Pleasant Street

Address Announcemens:  these announcements are done when the bus stop is at a house or a building.  In this case, the address of the house or building is announced.  Click on the link below to hear an Address Announcement sample.

Sample Address Announcement:   "1000 Paradise Rd"

Point of Interest Announcements:  These announcements are made when a bus stop is at a point of interest such as a landmark, subway/commuter rail station, shopping center, or town square.  The stop announcement equipment may just announce the point of interest (for example, "Copley Square"), or may announce the cross street or the building address as well as the point of interest that the stop serves.  Click on the link below to hear a Point of Interest Announcement sample.

Sample Point of Interest Announcement:  

"Newbury Street, Hynes Station, Green Line and Bus Connections.


When Should Stop Announcements Occur?

Stop announcements should occur prior to the bus reaching the announced stop. The customer should have enough time to press the "Stop Request" strip (located near the windows or in securement areas) or button (located on vertical poles of newer buses) to request the stop after the announcement has been made.

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