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MBTA & Town Of Brookline Announce Launch Of Dedicated Bus Lane Pilot In Gateway East


Today, the MBTA and the Town of Brookline announced the launch of a Dedicated Bus Lane Pilot in Gateway East on Washington Street, extending from Station Street to the Boston city line.

The pilot is set to run for a year and is funded by the MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces grant. As part of this collaborative effort, one eastbound and one westbound general-purpose travel lane will be converted into a bus-only lane, and transit signal priority will be implemented to get MBTA buses through intersections faster.

The bus-only lanes will serve MBTA Routes 60, 65, and 66, carrying nearly 15,000 daily riders, providing essential connections to the Longwood Medical Area, Green Line, and other transit services. Emergency vehicles and Longwood Collective shuttles will also be permitted to use the bus lane.

Installation of the bus-only lanes is scheduled to begin June 24, with completion anticipated within the following few days (weather depending). The pilot addresses a critical need for bus priority improvements identified by the MBTA in their Transit Priority Vision and uses design guidance from the MBTA’s Transit Priority Toolkit.  

“Dedicated bus lanes like this one being piloted in Brookline, lead to efficient service and a more pleasant ride for our customers,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “The Shared Streets and Spaces Grants funding will help to make a difference in the lives of those who live, work and travel in this community.”

“We’re thankful to the Town of Brookline for their partnership as we jointly strive to meet the Town’s sustainability goals with improved bus service. This pilot will reduce travel times for our existing riders, and we anticipate that it will attract new riders as we make travel times more reliable,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “The 60, 65, and 66 are vital bus routes for thousands of riders making connections to the Longwood Medical area, the Green Line, and beyond, and we look forward to reviewing the results of the pilot as it moves forward. Thank you as well to our partners at MassDOT for funding important transportation projects through the Shared Streets and Spaces program, the Town of Brookline for their continued collaboration, and the MBTA Transit Priority Group for spearheading these projects alongside the communities we serve.”

“Efficient, reliable public transit for all riders is essential to Brookline’s well-being and prosperity,” said Brookline Town Administrator Chas Carey. “This collaboration demonstrates our shared commitment to accessibility, sustainability, and innovative solutions that address the needs of the MBTA’s ridership in Brookline and beyond.”

The Gateway East dedicated bus lane pilot builds upon the recent corridor reconstruction completed in 2021, which rebuilt the street and sidewalks and added new protected bike lanes and other safety measures. The pilot aims to enhance and encourage more public transit use in the area and support the sustainability goals of the Town of Brookline.

These goals prioritize the safe, space-efficient, and energy-efficient movement of people and goods over the movement and parking of private vehicles. Public outreach for the pilot began in December 2020 to gather input and support for the one-year pilot, which was authorized by the Brookline Transportation Board in 2021.

During the yearlong pilot, the Town of Brookline will actively seek input from the community, bus riders, car drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and micro mobility users to gain insights into their experiences with the bus-only lanes. Data will be collected every three months to monitor and assess the pilot’s progress and help the Town make informed decisions on permanent bus-only lanes. Comments on the Dedicated Bus Lane Pilot can be e-mailed to gatewaybus@brooklinema.gov.

The MassDOT Shared Streets and Spaces Grant funds quick-build projects to help transit authorities and municipalities quickly implement improvements to public spaces. These include sidewalks, curbs, streets, bus stops, and parking areas to support public health, provide safe mobility, and strengthen commerce.

The MBTA Transit Priority Group is part of the Better Bus Project, which aims to transform bus service throughout the MBTA system. The group is responsible for designing and implementing transit priority infrastructure defined in the MBTA’s Bus Priority Vision and working with municipalities and fellow state agencies. To date, the group has delivered more than 40 miles of bus lanes and activated transit signal priority at more than 80 locations in 12 municipalities.

For more information, visit mbta.com/BNR or connect with the T on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, Facebook /TheMBTA, Instagram @theMBTA, Threads @thembta, or TikTok @thembta.