Bus Shelters

Cemusa bus shelter on Concord Avenue at the playing fields behind the armory.

Bus stops, shelters, and amenities

Bus shelters are located at many of the busiest bus stops in Cambridge to provide a convenient and comfortable place to wait for the bus. Providing bus shelters is one way that the City and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Agency (MBTA) hope to encourage people to use buses as convenient, reliable, and safe ways to get around the city.

Advertising shelters - JCDecaux

Bus shelters in Cambridge are owned and maintained by the City, the MBTA, JCDecaux, or other private entities. Since 2004, the City of Cambridge has had an agreement to install, operate, and maintain bus shelters with JCDecaux (previously Cemusa), through a program developed by the MBTA.

JCDecaux sells advertising space on one panel of each shelter to finance the purchase and maintenance of these shelters with a portion of any net profits going to the City and the MBTA. Locations of JCDecaux shelters are determined by identifying the busiest bus stops, environmental justice areas, as well as stops near destinations like senior housing developments, hospitals and other locations where a shelter is of particular benefit. 

Locations

Click the links below to see images of JCDecaux shelters at the following bus stop locations:

Other shelters

The City and the MBTA also own and maintain bus shelters that were installed prior to the JCDecaux program or in locations where a JCDecaux shelter was not deemed feasible. Other entities also owns and maintain bus shelters in Cambridge.

Click here for map of the current location of shelters in the City.

Realtime information signs at bus stops

The City has installed signs to show bus riders live predictions on bus arrivals at bus stops. The city has a couple types of screens -- TransitScreen at city facilities and LED and eInk signs. More information about these types of signs are found below.

TransitScreen

The City of Cambridge has had TransitScreens available at several city-owned facilities including City Hall, City Hall Annex, and the Citywide Senior Center. More TransitScreens are coming to Cambridge facilities.

LED and eInk realtime signs

The City of Cambridge is piloting realtime bus arrival information signs at four locations around the City. Two signs are located in and near Central Square and two signs are located in Porter Square.

For more information on the realtime signage program, send an e-mail to transportation@cambridgema.gov or call the Community Development Department at 617/347-4600

Better bus stops

Bench installations at bus stops

In 2019, the City installed benches at 12 bus stops around the city. The City replaced a damaged bench in one location and added new benches at the other 11 bus stops. Some of the bench installations were at the following locations:

Green Street bus stop improvements - curb extension and shelter

In June 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 flyerpresentationposter, 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.

Better streets for bus stops

Cambridge's current design standard is to extend the sidewalk into the parking lane at bus stops. This means that buses stop in the travel lane next to the extended sidewalk at the bus stop. As streets are reconstructed, new bus stops will be designed with this new standard of extended sidewalks at bus stops.

Though today's standard is to extend the sidewalk, you will see bus stops with older standards. These bus stops are in the parking lane or in a cut-out "bus bay" where buses must pull into a parking lane next to the sidewalk or in a designated "cut out" outside of the travel lanes. These street designs can delay buses and bus passengers. Problems include "bus bays" blocked by loading or parked cars. Also, buses are not always able to get both front and rear doors next to the sidewalk. This makes it difficult for people to board and exit this bus, especially, people who have disabilities. For some, a bus with a large gap from the curb means they cannot board or exit. Finally, buses are often delayed getting back into traffic with these older standard designs. 

For more information

For more information, please contact Bill Deignan in the Environmental and Transportation Planning Division at 617/439-4632, or wdeignan@cambridgema.gov.