Bus Priority

Bus priority encompasses a number of different strategies for creating more reliable travel by bus. The City of Cambridge works to identify locations that will benefit from various bus priority strategies. In 2018, Cambridge implemented several bus priority projects, find out more about those projects below.

Bus Priority Projects

Mt. Auburn Street Bus Priority Pilot

In October 2018, the City of Cambridge, in partnership with Watertown, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the MBTA, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), installed bus-and-bike-only lanes at several locations in West Cambridge: 

  • Mount Auburn Street eastbound between Brattle St and Fresh Pond Parkway
  • Mount Auburn Street eastbound between Ralph Piteri Terrace (Watertown) and Homer Ave (Cambridge)
  • Belmont Street eastbound between Brimmer St and Mount Auburn Street

The City of Cambridge and project partners also installed queue jump lanes in Watertown and westbound Mount Auburn Street at Belmont Street and installed transit signal priority at Homer, Aberdeen, and Fresh Pond Parkway.

During the morning rush hour, on average 56% of people travel on Mount Auburn Street by MBTA Buses. This project creates faster and more reliable bus service for more than 12,000 daily MBTA bus riders and other private shuttle passengers, and improves traffic flow for everyone on the road. The bus priority lane helps meet the project goals of making bus travel more reliable, predictable, and faster and implementing some recommendations from a long-term Mount Auburn Street corridor study. To learn more about this project, go to the project website.

South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements Project

In November 2018, as part of the South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements project, the City installed bus-only lanes on Massachusetts Avenue in the eastbound direction between Sidney Street and Albany Street and between Vassar Street and Memorial Drive. 

Routes 1 and CT1 that use this corridor are some of the busiest routes in the MBTA system and a key link between Cambridge and Boston. The bus lane will also be used by other buses including, but not limited to: other MBTA vehicles (like the RIDE vehicles), EZRide, MASCO, other employee shuttles, and school buses. The bus priority lane helps meet the project goals of reducing transit delays and enabling and encouraging people to choose sustainable transportation. To learn more about this project, go to the project website.

More Information

For more information about the City of Cambridge transit program, click here.

For more information about bus priority in Cambridge, please contact Tegin Teich at tteich@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4615.