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Columbus Avenue Bus Lanes

Boston's first center-running bus lane is now in operation on Columbus Avenue. 

The Columbus Avenue bus lane, the first center-running bus lane in New England, is now open and operating! In partnership with the MBTA, the City of Boston has implemented a range of improvements to Columbus Ave that will benefit bus riders, pedestrians, and the neighborhood as a whole.

The project makes the following improvements: 

  • New center-running bus lane from Jackson Square to Walnut Avenue
  • Pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements, including new crosswalks, ramps, curb extensions, and safer crossings at the new stops
  • New island platforms for bus stops with amenities including canopies and real time arrival signage

By having dedicated bus lanes in the center of the street, conflicts with traffic and parked vehicles are removed. We're helping buses run faster and more reliably. These improvements will save riders 4-7 minutes along the corridor. 

Background

In 2019, the Transportation Department developed the Jamaica Plain and Roxbury Transportation Action Plan. This plan advances the recommendations featured in the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s PLAN: Jamaica Plain Roxburyand Go Boston 2030.

From the Transportation Action Plan, we identified several community interests as high priorities for residents. Those interests include:

  • Columbus Avenue Transit Improvements
  • Washington Street Traffic Calming, and
  • Egleston Square Safety Improvements.

Nearly one-third of those traveling on this section of Columbus Avenue move on buses. Delays became so severe that travel times can triple during peak travel times. It should be no surprise that dedicated bus lanes on Columbus Avenue rose to the top of community interests.

This initiative closely aligns with our goals toward decreasing travel time inequities across racial lines and transportation modes in Go Boston 2030

Improvements

The new center-running bus lanes will provide bus riders with more reliable service. We also upgraded bus platforms within the project scope.

These upgrades will benefit riders on the three bus routes on the corridor:

  • 22: Ashmont Station – Ruggles Station
  • 29: Mattapan Station – Jackson Square Station, and
  • 44: Jackson Square Station –  Ruggles Station.

In 2019, there were 25 reported crashes along the street segment. Four of those crashes involved pedestrians. Through this project, we can improve the safety for those walking along Columbus Avenue. We created improved street crossings for pedestrians and improved accessibility for pedestrians with disabilities. 

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