In 2018, 40 Street Ambassador volunteers spent more than 50 hours engaging with bus riders along Brighton Avenue in Allston. We collected 230 stories about late buses, full buses, slow buses, and last minute ride-share. We spoke with business owners and customers along the corridor too, to learn how they use curb space so it can be managed effectively in tandem with bus-only lanes.
The overarching theme we heard? People are fed up with the lack of reliable, fast public transit. They are want bus priority NOW!
- We're excited to share that Mayor Walsh has made a public commitment to pilot a bus priority lane on Brighton Ave in Allston during the morning commute starting this June.
- Now is the time for the City of Boston and the MBTA to take a comprehensive approach to bus priority by including additional treatments beyond paint. These additional features will help all street users move more efficiently:
- Transit signal priority (TSP) allow buses move more quickly through intersections.
- Queue jump lanes allow buses to easily enter traffic flow in a priority position, reducing delays.
- Dedicated unloading/pick-up/drop-off zones benefit business owners and customers along the corridor by encouraging flexible curb management and higher turnover of parking spaces.
- We will be deploying Street Ambassadors this summer during the Brighton Ave pilot. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in being a volunteer!
- Over the last year we've been speaking with business owners and customers along Brighton Avenue to learn how they use curb space so it can be managed effectively in tandem with bus-only lanes.
- During the last year our Street Ambassador collected more than 200 stories deployments at bus stops along Brighton Avenue. Here's some of what we heard:
“Service needs to be more efficient. We feel better paying the monthly rate if we are getting good service.” (Connie, 02446)
“I am a healthcare professional traveling from Allston/Brighton area into Longwood Medical area. Reliable buses are important for me to ensure every child is well.” (Zaire, 02135)
“To save time on my commute, to save money + reduce traffic. I rely on the MBTA solely - I do not own a car. It's vital to me that public transportation is reliable. Boston is a very commutable city. we don't need so many drivers if we have reliable transportation.” (Katie, 02134)
“The 57 is notorious for NEVER being on time. I constantly factor in the schedule being incredibly inaccurate. Any way to eliminate back-ups would be lovely!” (Theresa, 02135)
Download our Getting Allston Onboard handout for more info.
Benefits of Better Buses in Allston
We conducted bus rider surveys along the Brighton Ave corridor last spring and found that:
- 95% of riders take the bus frequently, and bus speed and reliability significantly affects their ability to get to work, school, and appointments on time.
- Unreliable service and overcrowding were the top two issues that most negatively impacted people’s bus rides.
- Nearly one third of riders reported using more expensive ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft when bus service is unreliable.
- Data collected during the bus-only lane pilot in Roslindale showed reduced travel times for bus riders along the corridor up to 25% during the morning commute.Testing out similar bus priority measures on Brighton Ave could also improve time-savings for the 20,000 riders relying on the 57 and 66 buses routes.
- Bus priority improvements benefit everyone. Bus priority will benefit riders traveling from adjacent communities including Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, and Roxbury while also improving connections between these communities and other transit modes. In Roslindale, 94% of people biking surveyed said that they were satisfied with the bus-bike priority lane on Washington Street.
What You Can Do
- Volunteer with LivableStreets as a Street Ambassador. Sign up here or contact email@example.com to learn more about this unique opportunity to influence how people move around Metro Boston!
- Send a message to City Hall and tell Mayor Walsh why you need more reliable transit. Submit your feedback below or download our feedback card.
- Help us spread the word! Encourage your friends, family members, and neighbors to reach out to officials and submit their own feedback cards.
- Reach out to your local elected officials and ask them to prioritize bus priority in Boston:
Call City Council:
- Email City Council:
- Call City Council:
Mark Ciommo, District 9
- Mark Ciommo, District 9
- At-Large Councilors:
- Annisa Essaibi George
- Michelle Wu
- At-Large Councilors:
Did you know that the City of Boston could improve the speed and reliability of your bus commute on Brighton Ave in Allston? Respond with your feedback below and we will share your story with City Hall and Mayor Walsh.