Bus Stops, Shelters, Benches, and Amenities
There are over 250 bus stops on Cambridge's streets. We work with the MBTA to make sure that every bus stop accessible, safe, convenient, comfortable, and close to destinations. You can learn more below about the amenities we place at bus stops and changes to city streets that make buses better.
We place bus shelters at many of the busiest bus stops in Cambridge. The City, the MBTA, or private entities own the bus shelters in Cambridge. The shelters provide shade and protection from wind and precipitation. We provide shelters to encourage people to use buses to get around the city. We have several types of bus shelters. Learn more below.
Advertising shelters have an advertising panel with lighting, seats, and bus route information. The MBTA and their contractor installs and maintains shelters. MBTA's contractor sells advertisements in the shelters. These advertising sales fund maintenance, cleaning, and repair of the shelters. They also fund the salary of workers.
The City leads a process to identify new shelter installations. We consider many factors. This includes:
- the available space on the sidewalk
- number of boardings
- nearby destinations like senior housing facilities, hospitals, and city facilities
We may consider other locations where a shelter would be beneficial to riders or neighborhood characteristics, like, presence of environmental justice populations. We are not currently installing new shelters
Click the links below to see images of advertising shelters at the following bus stop locations. A new window will open when you click the following links:
Shelters without advertising panels
The City, the MBTA, and private entities also own and maintain bus other shelters. These shelters have a wind screen and seats. They may also have bus route information. We install these other shelters throughout the city. We sometimes require developers to install shelters as mitigation for their development proposals. We also install these shelters when an advertising shelter is not workable at a bus stop.
Click here for map of the current location of shelters in the City.
Realtime information signs at bus stops
The City and the MBTA have installed electronic bus arrival prediction signs at on-street bus stops. We have installed TransitScreen signs at many city-owned buildings. We often require that developers install these signs in their buildings. We also have a trial of LED signs at two bus stops. The MBTA also has several electronic paper signs at bus stops. You can read more information about these signs below.
TransitScreen transportation signs
The City of Cambridge has TransitScreens signs at several city-owned buildings, including: City Hall, City Hall Annex, and the Citywide Senior Center. We are not looking to install more TransitScreens.
LED realtime signs
The City of Cambridge has real-time bus information signs at two locations.
MBTA realtime signs
The MBTA has installed signage at several locations. These signs are on the street and provide riders information about bus arrivals and service alerts. You can see these signs at:
- Red Line Central station - Main inbound entrance - LED screen signage
- Dawes Island - Mass Ave at Garden Street - electronic paper solar-powered signage
- Eliot Street - Brattle Square - electronic paper solar-powered signage
Bus stop benches
Benches provide a place to sit while waiting for the bus. The City's standard bench is about six-feet long. This allows up to 3 people to sit. When we rebuild streets, we will install standard or artistic benches.
You can see recent bench installations at the following locations::
Better and more spacious bus stops
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 flyer, presentation, poster, and notes from the June 2016 meeting.
Bus routing and bus 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.
- Ames Street at Broadway and Main Street. The CT2 (Crosstown) bus route no longer directly serves the Kendall/MIT station entrances. Instead, the CT2 travels on Ames Street one block away from Kendall/MIT station to two new bus stops at Ames Street and Broadway and Ames Street and Main Street. Most CT2 bus riders who board or exit in the Kendall Square area do not connect to the Red Line.
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 or relocated bus stops will be designed using the new standard of extended sidewalks.
Though today's standard is to extend the sidewalk, you will see bus stops that use an older design. These bus stops are where buses must pull into the parking/curb access lane next to the sidewalk or in a designated "cut out" outside of the travel lanes. These street designs mean that buses often get delayed re-entering traffic. Motorists parking or stopping also may blocked a bus attempting to use the older bus stop design. Even if clear, buses are not always able to get both front and rear doors next to the sidewalk making it difficult for people to board and exit this bus, especially, people with disabilities. For some, a bus stopped with a large gap from the curb means they cannot board or exit the bus.
Maintenance, repair, and snow clearance
The City works with contractors, the MBTA, and other entities for regular maintenance and repair of shelters and bus stops. Snow clearance is, similarly, a coordinated effort. If you see a bus stop that needs maintenance, repair, cleaning, or snow clearance, submit a request on Commonwealth Connect.
For more information
For more information, please contact Andrew Reker. You may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-6959