Transit in Cambridge

MBTA red line

Cambridge is served by a variety of kinds of public transportation, including subway, commuter rail, buses, shuttles, and bicycle share. A large proportion of Cambridge residents and workers already use and rely on public transit, as well as other sustainable, healthy transportation modes like walking and biking. With projected shifts in demographics, as well as predicted housing and economic development in the region, public transit will become even more vital to the region than it is today. To help guide its work on transit projects, the City established a Transit Advisory Committee and, in 2015, released a Transit Strategic Plan (high resolution version / low resolution version).

For information about using transit in Cambridge, please visit the Getting Around Cambridge by Transit page.

Recent Updates

Routes 47 and CT2 Impacted by Commonwealth Ave. Bridge Project | Detours from 7/26/2018 to 8/11/2018

As a result of MassDOT's Commonwealth Avenue Bridge reconstruction in Boston, the MBTA will detour bus routes 47 and CT2 in July and August. This is a continuation of the work from 2017; however, this year the MBTA will not be able to run buses on the BU Bridge. From Thursday July 26 until Saturday August 11, the MBTA will detour bus route 47 and CT2. In the same time period, the MBTA will skip some stops on bus route 57 and provide rail-replacement bus shuttles for the Green Line B/Boston College branch.

Click on the following links to find specific information on impacts to each route:

MassDOT is also hosting two public meetings on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project later this month

Tuesday, July 17, 6:30 PM
Boston University College of General Studies
Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (Lower Level, Room 129)
871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 PM
Morse School, Auditorium
40 Granite Street, Cambridge, MA

MassDOT and project team staff will describe the Summer 2018 Construction Shutdown (July 26 – August 11) in detail, review detour routes, and respond to questions. The same presentation will be delivered at both meetings.

MBTA Better Bus Project

We are working with the MBTA on their Better Bus Project to make buses operate better in Cambridge. The MBTA is seeking your feedback on bus operations. Please take a moment to submit your ideas on improving bus service at the Better Bus Project online survey. Sunday, July 15, 2018 is the last day to submit your ideas. The form is available in several languages, including: English, Spanish (Español) , Portuguese (Português), French (Français), Chinese - Simplified (汉语), Chinese - Traditional (漢語), Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), and Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen).

Mt Auburn Street Bus Priority Pilot

In December 2017, Cambridge, in partnership with Watertown, was awarded a community grant from the Barr Foundation to work with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) to pilot bus priority improvements for routes 71 and 73 along Mt. Auburn Street, between Belmont Street and Fresh Pond Parkway, and for short segments of Belmont Street in Cambridge and Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown. This will include the first dedicated bus lanes in Cambridge and new bike lanes where possible, as well as transit signal priority. Learn more about the pilot.

Real-Time Bus Arrival Signs Pilot

The City has begun piloting real-time bus arrival signs at four locations around the city powered by solar panels -- two LED displays and two eInk displays. You can find the displays at the following bus stops

Please let us know your thoughts on these displays by emailing transportation@cambridgema.gov or calling 617/349-4600.

Green Street Bus Stop Improvements

In June of 2017, the City constructed a curb extension and added a bus shelter at the bus stop on Green Street at Pearl Street, increasing space and comfort for waiting passengers and pedestrians. In order to minimize the impact on parking, parking on Green Street between Pearl Street and Brookline Street has been permanently shifted to the north side of the street. A public meeting was held in June 2016 to discuss the proposed parking changes. For more background information, please view the project flyer, presentation, poster, and notes from the June 2016 meeting.

MBTA Bus Routing and Stop Location Changes

The City works with the MBTA on an ongoing basis to modify bus stop locations and bus routing to improve travel times, service reliability, and safety. Recent changes include:

  • New Acorn Park Drive routing and bus stop near Alewife: Inbound routing of Bus Routes 62, 67, 76, and 84 (and 62/76 on Saturdays) toward Alewife Station to travel via Acorn Park Drive. This allows buses to avoid traffic on Route 2, with an estimated travel times savings in the morning rush hour of just under 2 minutes per trip, adding up to 21.6 person-hours on an average weekday. We also created a bus stop for travelers to and from destinations along Acorn Park Drive. For more information, please view a press release from the MBTA.
  • Broadway at Galileo Galilei Way bus stop: In response to requests from the public and MBTA bus operators, the bus stop on Broadway at Galileo Galilei Way, heading toward Kendall Square, was shifted to the far side of the intersection to improve operations and increase safety for all users.

Bus Stop Design

  • Cambridge's design standard is to use curb extensions for bus stops so that buses pull over in the travel lane against the bus stop. This is preferred to "bus bays" where buses must pull into a location against the sidewalk. The problems with "bus bays" include: they are often blocked by cars, it is difficult for the driver to get both front and rear doors flush with the sidewalk, and they cause delays in the bus getting back into traffic.
  • Shelters and seating are an important part of a bus stop. Click here for more information about our shelter program.

Transit Initiatives

The City is engaged in a number of studies and projects related to transit within Cambridge and the greater region.

Cambridge Initiatives

Regional Initiatives

Additional Regional Transit Information

For More Information

For more information, contact Tegin Teich at tteich@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4615.