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North Washington Street Bus Lane

We recently completed a southbound bus lane along North Washington Street. The bus lane will improve travel for the 17,000 bus riders along this high-priority street.

While the population in Greater Boston increases, so does congestion and travel times for commuters. North Washington Street serves as a transit gateway for give important bus routes. It connects downtown Boston to other major areas in the City.

Delay times along this corridor have continued to increase. This has affected all bus routes running along the corridor. Unless we develop meaningful transit plans and improvements, we can expect this trend to continue.

Any questions? Contact:

Transportation
MATT MORAN | TRANSIT TEAM DIRECTOR

Project context

About the plan

Our goal is to develop a range of near-term, multimodal transportation improvements in the areas next to North Station. The project area is bounded by:

  • North Washington Street
  • Cross Street
  • Sudbury Street
  • Cambridge Street, and
  • the Charles River.
The area includes notable places, such as:
  • the Bulfinch Triangle
  • the Charles River Park condominiums
  • the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
  • Lovejoy Wharf
  • Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and
  • the Government Center Garage.

Planning influence

This project takes its cue from the visions already developed in broader planning exercises, like Go Boston 2030. The North Station Area Mobility Action Plan (NSAMAP 2016) seeks to develop actionable plans. We want to not only improve transportation within the area, but also to help improve regional connections.

What's been done

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In September 2019, we completed a southbound 24/7 bus-only lane along the corridor. This bus lane aligns with the goals of  Go Boston 2030 and has seen constant use throughout the day.

We've been closely watching how the lane functions and heard feedback from the community.

WHY ADD A BUS LANE

WHY ADD A BUS LANE
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High ridership

Bus lanes have been used throughout Boston to improve bus frequency and reliability. This section of North Washington Street serves MBTA routes 111, 93, 92, 428, and 426. These are five of the system's key routes.

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High delay

On a typical weekday, bus passengers are delayed a total of 10 collective hours along this section of North Washington Street alone. Delays can run up to 15 minutes during the worst periods of morning congestion.

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Go Boston 2030

The new bus lane aligns with the Go Boston 2030 goals of:

  • providing consistent, on-time service
  • ensuring predictable commute times, and
  • prioritizing the movement of people over cars.