Bus Stops, Shelters, Benches, 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. The City also places benches at bus stops where physically feasible.
The City or private entities own the bus shelters in Cambridge. The MBTA and their contractor installs new shelters and maintains existing shelters. In early 2021, the MBTA launched a new bus shelter program with Intersection who will take over maintenance and repair of advertising shelters in Cambridge.
The City leads a process with the MBTA and the maintenance contractor to install bus shelters at bus stops. The city evaluates many factors in making the decision to install an advertising bus shelter. These factors include sidewalk space, bus boardings, environmental justice areas, stops near important destinations like senior housing facilities, hospitals, and other locations where a shelter would be beneficial to riders.
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:
The City and the MBTA also own and maintain bus shelters separate from the advertising shelter program, particularly in locations where an advertising shelter was not feasible given sidewalk constraints. Other institutions, companies, or entities also own 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 installed signs at bus stops to show bus arrival predictions. The city has several types of real-time transit information screens. We have TransitScreens at city facilities and LED signs. In addition, the MBTA also has installed signage to show bus riders information at a few bus hubs in the city. More information about these types of signs are found below.
TransitScreen transportation information signs
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 realtime signs
The City of Cambridge has real-time bus information signs at two locations.
MBTA real-time 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
For more information on the real-time signage program, contact Andrew Reker by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 617-349-6959.
Bus stop benches
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:
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 by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or calling 617-349-6959.