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Bus Transit Priority

An aerial view of the dedicated bus lane on Charles River Dam Road

Commuting by bus can be challenging for riders who travel through high-traffic or congested areas. In conjunction with the Better Bus Project, the T is partnering with communities to help make bus transit faster and more efficient.

What We're Working On

To have the most significant and timely impact on riders, the MBTA prioritizes bus transit priority projects in areas with chronic delay issues and high ridership. Take a look at some of the projects we're working on to help improve bus transit throughout the region.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Dedicated Bus Lanes

A Silver Line Bus is seen traveling on a dedicated bus lane on Washington Street in Downtown Boston
A dedicated bus lane and buffered bike lane on Washington Street in Chinatown (2020)

Featured Project: Columbus Ave Center-running Bus Lane

Dedicated bus lane projects are underway in several municipalities. This work will help improve bus service and relieve congestion in high-traffic neighborhoods. Prioritizing the movement of people over cars will help provide consistent, on-time bus service to riders.

Shared Bus/Bike Lanes

View of the shared bus/bike lane in Government Center Boston.
A shared bus/bike lane on North Washington Street in the North End (2020)

Finding enough space for a dedicated bus lane in the city isn't always possible. In these instances, specific project locations will offer a shared bus/bike lane, queue jumps, or priority bus lane access during peak hours.

Transit Signal Priority

Buses caught in traffic on Columbus Avenue during rush hour.
Traffic congestion on Columbus Ave in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, with multiple buses stuck behind cars (2020)

We’re implementing Transit Signal Priority (TSP), which gives preference to transit vehicles at certain intersections, on the Green Line, and bus routes throughout Greater Boston. TSP helps public transit vehicles stay on schedule, resulting in improved travel times and increased reliability.

There are several ways TSP can help commuters:

  • Automatically switching signals for all arriving transit
  • Strategically switching signals only to allow buses that are running late to take priority
  • Coordinating signals to switch based on average bus speed rather than the average vehicle speed

Rapid Response Bus Lanes Program

Crews install the shared bus/bike lane on Broadway in Chelsea as the 111 bus passes by
Crews install the shared bus/bike lane on Broadway in Chelsea as the 111 bus passes by. The shared bus/bike lane is part of the Rapid Response Bus Lanes program (October 2020)

The Rapid Response Bus Lanes Program is an unprecedented effort to implement up to 14 miles of bus lanes throughout Boston, Chelsea, Somerville, and Everett. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, these improvements will support public health recovery, improve bus speed, increase reliability, and reduce crowding.

Many of these projects will utilize dedicated bus lanes and shared/bus bike lanes that we’re already in the process of installing.

Contact Us

For all queries and comments related to Bus Priority Lanes, please contact the Better Bus Project at betterbusproject@mbta.com

Related Projects

Better Bus Project: Making transit better together

Too many of our bus routes still fail to live up to our own standards. Through the Better Bus Project, we are changing that.

Learn about the Better Bus Project

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Related Projects

Better Bus Project: Making transit better together

Too many of our bus routes still fail to live up to our own standards. Through the Better Bus Project, we are changing that.

Learn about the Better Bus Project