Urban Ring Transit Expansion project

Urban Ring

The Urban Ring project, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), is a phased set of transit improvements in a corridor around the downtown core. The corridor encompasses some of the area’s fastest growing districts, including Kendall Square and East Cambridge areas, Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), and the South Boston Waterfront. The project corridor encompasses parts of Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, and Brookline. The Urban Ring project will provide new transit services connect existing radial transit lines (subway, commuter rail, and bus), lead to shorter transit trips, and cause fewer transfers. The current planning effort includes frequent bus rapid transit service, which will operate partly in exclusive bus lanes and tunnels and partly in mixed-use traffic.

While the Urban Ring project has been in planning for many years, renewed planning efforts over the past two years have significantly advanced this project. The project is currently on the “Illustrative Projects” list of the current Long-Range Transportation Plan.

An estimated 13,000 daily riders are expected to board the Urban Ring system at the Kendall Square station alone! The Sullivan Square – Kendall Square – Longwood Medical Area route has the largest potential ridership for a new transit system in the region. The EZ-Ride shuttle service (North Station to Cambridgeport via Kendall Square) demonstrates that there is growing demand. EZ-ride surpasses 1,000 daily ridership, up from about 500 when the service begun in 2002.

Transit investment is critical for this corridor

  • New and expanded transit options are needed for Cambridge residents to reach work and make other trips.
  • Economic development in our region is being constrained by traffic congestion and inadequate transit access. The existing rapid transit subway system is over capacity.
  • Auto emissions contribute significantly to climate change.
  • $100 million invested in public transit creates and supports roughly 4,000 jobs. Businesses often realize a gain in sales three times the public sector investment in transit capital.

MassDOT Website

Click here for MassDOT's Urban Ring website.

Cambridge Details

Click here for details of proposed routes and stations. For Cambridge-specific details, go to pages 2-17 for descriptive text and Figures 2-7 and 2-8 for maps.

Business Briefing

Click here for a brochure from the April 18, 2008 Business Briefing hosted by the City of Cambridge

For more information

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