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Permanent bus lane to be established on Washington Street in Roslindale

One lane will be established for buses and bikes only, weekdays from 5 a.m. - 9 a.m.

The City of Boston Transportation Department today announced that a permanent bus lane will be established on Washington Street, inbound from Roslindale Village to the Forest Hills MBTA Station. The lane will be active each weekday from 5 AM to 9 AM and bicycles will be welcome to share the lane with MBTA and school buses. An interim bus lane will be operational beginning Monday, June 18, as necessary work to implement a permanent design continues.

“It is sound transportation policy to implement along Washington Street a designated bus lane that also allows for people riding bikes,” said City of Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. “Improving public transit and bus service in particular, is an identified goal of Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s long-term, comprehensive transportation plan. The Roslindale bus lane was singled out as an early action project in the Go Boston 2030 Action Plan and we are pleased to be implementing this important component of our transportation plan.”

In partnership with the MBTA, BTD implemented a four week pilot program in May to ensure the effectiveness of a bus lane on this stretch of Washington Street and monitor its impact on the surrounding neighborhood.   The bus lane received strong support from Roslindale residents, bus riders and cyclists.  Following the completion of the pilot, MBTA data confirmed that riders benefited from the bus lane, reducing travel time while in the lane by 20 to 25 percent during the worst hour of congestion (7:30 AM to 8:30 AM). For the 1,100 bus riders traveling through the corridor during that hour, that works out to 26 hours of passenger time saved on a typical day, or 38 hours saved on a day when road congestion was significantly higher than normal. In a survey of bus riders and bicyclists on the corridor, 94 percent supported a permanent bus and bicycle lane. Of the bus passengers, 92 percent perceived that the bus lane decreased their travel time. Of the bicyclists, 89 percent reported feeling safer in the shared lane.

“A survey of our bus customers and bicyclists during the pilot indicated that 94 percent stated they wanted the lane to continue permanently,” said MBTA GM Luis Ramírez. “We look forward to continuing this partnership with the City of Boston with the shared goals of improving mobility, delivering better bus service for MBTA customers, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our neighborhoods. I want to thank Mayor Walsh for his leadership on this initiative as we work to build on the success of the Washington Street pilot.”

Parking will not be permitted in the bus lane when it is in effect, but general motor vehicle travel will be maintained via full use of one travel lane inbound.

Go Boston 2030 also identifies other heavily traveled bus routes, such as, Brighton Avenue, Washington Street in Downtown Boston, and North Washington Street, as prime locations for designated bus lanes. Learn more.

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