Better Buses


Imagine saving two weeks on your commute every year . . . Dedicated bus lanes, signal priority, and other techniques that prioritize people on buses are an essential ingredient for Complete Streets in Boston, helping to anchor a world-class transportation network. 

Have an idea for what Boston's future bus stations should look like? Enter the BostonBRT Station Design Contest! Learn more here


BRT_Mexico_City.jpgWhat is a Better Bus? 
  • Provides consistent, reliable service on a network of streets where buses are given dedicated right of way.
  • Improves safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by traveling in specific, predictable lanes with platform-level boarding.
  • Stops at enclosed bus stations that welcome riders with real-time data and device-charging stations.
  • Appeals to all commuters because of its reliability, speed, comfort, and cost.




Learn More: The 5 Essential Elements of Bus Rapid Transit

 Why_Better_Buses.jpgWhy Better Buses? 
  • Cities around the world are searching for sustainable ways to transport residents quickly, efficiently, and safely throughout their streets. From Mexico City to Bogota to Istanbul, Better Buses are proving to have a wide range of benefits for quality of life.
  • Compared with cars, buses consume far less public space per passenger trip and can help relieve congestion, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • When buses are reliable, fast and comfortable, they become a more attractive and viable option for commuters, reducing dependance on cars and increasing physical activity.


An advanced city is not a place where the poor move about in cars, rather it's where even the rich use public transportation."

– Former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa | quoted in Commonwealth Magazine

 MBTA_Bus_1_in_a_lot_of_Traffic.JPGWhy Now? 
  • Metro Boston cannot build its way out of congestion. For our transportation system to accomodate future growth we must use road space and bus facilities more efficiently and move towards becoming less car dependent.
  • Better buses benefit everyone. They improve connections between communities and other transit modes, including cycling and walking.
  • Go Boston 2030's goals to increase bus ridership and lower greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved with changes that prioritize streets and signals for buses.

If you know that 40 percent of people traveling along a corridor take the bus, you can make a much stronger case for giving half the street capacity to transit vehicles."

– Scott Hamwey, Transportation Planner, MassDOT | CityLab

What's Happening? 



 bus_eastie.jpgWhat's Next? 
  • In 2016 and 2017, LivableStreets is teaming up with MIT’s CoAXs team to test the effectiveness of software tools in bus advocacy.
  • Through Go Boston 2030 and MassDOT Focus40 initiatives, improvements to the bus system, especially along high capacity corridors like Mass Ave, are being designated as crucial transit projects.
  • Follow the latest news with our #BetterBuses hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.

what_you_can_do_better_buses.jpgWhat You Can Do 

Join the conversation: Attend a LivableStreets Advocacy Committee meeting.

Volunteer: Join us in spreading the word about the importance of safe and livable streets. Our volunteers are actively involved in tracking projects, tabling at events, and serving as Street Ambassadors.

Stand up and be counted: Attend a public meeting. See LivableStreets calendar — it’s updated daily!

Become a member: Join our growing community of people invested in creating safe streets and livable communities. Become a member of LivableStreets today!





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