MBTA and City of Revere Announce Start of Southbound AM Peak Bus Lane Pilot on Broadway, First-ever Bus Lane in The City, To Improve Commutes for Thousands of Essential Workers
Posted on October 21, 2021
Collaborative effort between the MBTA and the City of Revere aims to improve bus speed and reliability for Bus Routes 110, 116, 117, and 411, benefiting more than 12,000 bus riders daily, as a part of the region’s COVID-19 transportation response.
The MBTA and the City of Revere today announced the completion of an AM peak bus lane pilot along the southbound side of Broadway in Revere between Revere Street and Revere Beach Parkway. The mile-long bus lane will begin operational testing on the morning of October 25, 2021, with an official pilot start slated for November 8 and continuing until the end of spring 2022. Pending an evaluation of the pilot’s performance, the City of Revere may determine whether to make the treatment permanent. The bus facilities are in effect immediately.
“Key Bus Route 116/117 is critical for our riders traveling in Revere and accessing the Blue Line. In the wake of the pandemic, this has been one of our highest ridership routes, retaining more than 80% of its average weekday ridership,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “These bus priority improvements will improve the commute for our current riders while encouraging more commuters to get on board and take transit. We thank the City of Revere for their leadership and collaboration during this critical time.”
“This project is a priority for the City of Revere because we know that we cannot support an equitable recovery without improving transit for our frontline workers,” said Mayor Brian M. Arrigo. “We are excited to start this pilot and look forward to working with the local business community and riders to improve upon it in the coming weeks and months.”
According to a 2017 CTPS survey, 60% of Route 116/117 riders are non-white and 55% are low-income, well above MBTA system-wide averages for bus service. This pilot is the first time the City of Revere and the MBTA have worked together to commit local road space to bus priority. The project corresponds with other transit improvements along Broadway in Chelsea implemented earlier in November, which includes a bus lane that also benefits the Key Bus Route 116/117.
The pilot will operate similarly to other projects in neighboring cities, such as along Broadway in Everett and on Washington Street in Roslindale, Boston, where parking is prohibited from 4 AM to 9 AM to give priority to MBTA buses and bikes traveling curbside. According to the pilot results for the Roslindale facility, bus riders experienced a 20 – 25% average reduction in travel times, which translated into an hour of time savings each week for the average bus rider.
The lane is marked with red bus lane markings and signage, and the Revere Parking Department will be responsible for enforcement. Public school buses and emergency response vehicles may also use the lane.
Since 2019, the City of Revere has worked with local businesses to engage them in the pilot and address design concerns. Due to the early morning hours, the pilot is anticipated to have a minimal impact on local businesses or parking needs. According to a consultant study, parking utilization along the whole corridor during the morning is relatively low, with less than 30% of the parking spaces occupied at 9 AM.
The MBTA Transit Priority Group was created in 2019 with support from the Barr Foundation to further bus priority projects around the region. The group has worked closely with municipal partners and MassDOT to deliver over 13 miles of bus lanes and activate transit signal priority at 85 locations in six cities, more than doubling the MBTA service area’s bus priority network in the last two years. These reliability benefits have had a far-reaching impact. While 3% of passenger miles travelled are in bus lanes, reliability benefits extend to 41% of passenger miles travelled system-wide.