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MBTA Will Paint 4.8 Miles of New Bus Lanes This Summer

New development, new sidewalks, and new protected bike lanes line Washington Street in Brookline Village. The town is moving forward with a proposal to set aside one lane in each direction on the newly-reconstructed street as dedicated bus lanes for the MBTA’s route 60, 65, and 66 buses.

The MBTA has reached agreements with the cities of Boston, Somerville, Revere, Malden, Lynn, and the Town of Brookline to paint roughly 4.8 miles of new dedicated bus lanes this summer in an effort to improve bus service reliability as traffic congestion comes roaring back in the wake of the pandemic.

Most of those new bus lanes being announced today – like the bus lanes planned for Centre Street in Malden, and Brookline's "Gateway East" redesign – have been in the works for a while, and reported here previously.

But there's one significant bus lane project that hasn't been covered here yet: an inbound and outbound pair of new bus lanes on Western Avenue in Lynn, between the Saugus River and Ida Street next to the MBTA's Lynn bus garage.

Lynn's new bus lanes will benefit bus routes 424, 426, 441, 442, 450, and 455, as well as many of the routes that originate from the Lynn garage. For riders on the 426 and 455 routes, the new lanes will also complement red paint that went down next to the Lynn Common earlier this year.

Also part of today's announcement: the first-ever bus lane for the City of Revere, where a new inbound shared bus-and-bike lane will be in effect during the morning rush hours on Broadway and benefit riders on routes 116, 117, 119, and 411.

In a press release, City of Revere Mayor Brian M. Arrigo said that “the way we rebuild our region in the wake of this crisis is by recommitting to the public goods that serve our residents every day.”

Several of these bus lane projects are being implemented with funding from the Shared Streets and Spaces program, which aims to improve traffic and transit conditions in support of public health, safe mobility, and renewed commerce across the Commonwealth.

“These are precisely the kinds of projects the Baker-Polito Administration had in mind in awarding municipalities Shared Winter Streets and Spaces funding for public transportation needs as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey L. Tesler in a press release announcing the new projects on Monday.

Among the other bus lane projects slated for implementation this summer:

    • A full-time dedicated bus lane on North Washington Street outbound from Haymarket Square to Causeway Street, to benefit riders on routes 92, 93, and 111. This lane had already been painted as of June, but signage has yet to be installed.
    • A new outbound peak-hour shared bus-and-bike lane on Washington Street in Roslindale, benefiting routes 30, 34, 34E, 35, 36, 37, 40, 50, and 51. This lane had already been painted as of June.
    • Full-time inbound and outbound bus lanes on Washington Street between High Street and River Road in Brookline, benefiting routes 60, 65, and 66 (previous coverage: Brookline Considers Bus Lanes For Its Biggest Transit Bottleneck);
    • Full-time inbound and outbound bus lanes alongside bike lanes on Centre Street in Malden, between the Malden Center Orange Line station and Main Street, benefiting routes 99, 104, 105, 106, 108, 131, 137, 411, and 430 (previous coverage: Malden City Council Endorses More Bus, Bike Lanes for City Center);
    • Bus queue jump lanes and signal improvements on Washington Street near McGrath Highway and Inner Belt Road in Somerville, to benefit rides on routes 86, 91, and CT2.

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