Getting Allston On Board

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This fall, 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 along the corridor too, many of whom understand that bus-only lanes wouldn't negatively affect business. 

The overarching theme we heard? People are fed up with the lack of reliable, fast public transit. They are want bus priority NOW!

What You Can Do Now:

Help us elevate this message to city leaders and the MBTA. Send a message to Mayor Walsh asking for a commitment before the New Year to:

  1. Commit to AM commute bus priority on Brighton Avenue, with implementation in April 2019. 
  2. Skip the pilot and follow the lead of other municipalities in the region by using paint to have a longer term test.
  3. Take a comprehensive approach to bus priority on the Brighton Avenue corridor. Include all possible tools to improve the morning commute. 

Mayor Marty Walsh - Email: mayor@boston.gov Twitter:@martywalsh, @BostonBTD

MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramirez - Twitter: @LMRAMIREZGM, @MBTA


What's Happeningpostcard_signing.jpeg
  • The City of Boston's Go Boston 2030 Action Plan and the CTPS Prioritization of Dedicated Bus Lanes report have both identified the Brighton Ave corridor as needing bus improvements based on chronic delay issues.
  • We're advocating for bus priority that would include improvements to Brighton Ave (under the jurisdiction of the City of Boston). Potential improvements include:
    • Paint bus and bike only lane to replace parking lane during morning commute
    • Improving traffic signals along the corridor to better facilitate bus flow
    • Improvements to bus stops
  • This fall, 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.


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  • 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 kristiana@livablestreets.info 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:
    • Mark Ciommo, District 9
      • 617-635-3113
      • mark.ciommo@boston.gov
    • At-Large Councilors:
      • Michelle Wu
        • 617-635-3115
        • michelle.wu@boston.gov
      • Michael Flaherty
        • 617-635-4205
        • michael.f.flaherty@boston.gov

      • Annisa Essaibi George
        • 617-635-4376
        • a.e.george@boston.gov
      • Ayanna Pressley
        • 617-635-4217
        • ayanna.pressley@boston.gov

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.

Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?

Showing 10 reactions

  • Laura Gray
    answered 2018-11-20 16:20:22 -0500
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: I lived in Allston center and biked Brighton Ave everyday to get to the Comm Ave bike lane. It was harrowing and nerve-racking with buses and cars passing frustratingly close. I think this dedicated bus and bike lane will be beneficial to all road users! And maybe I’d start biking in that area again.
  • Sam Burgess
    answered 2018-09-28 09:12:11 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: I am an Allston resident who routinely takes the 57, Green Line, and bikes on Brighton / Comm Ave.

    SOV traffic has been prioritized on Brighton and Comm Aves for far too long. The 57 and Green Line are plagued by lights and horrific traffic during rush hour. Cars routinely park in front of bus stops with zero consequences. 57 buses frequently run late or get stuck together. I avoid riding the 57 altogether between 7:30 and 8:30 am because by the time they reach Harvard Ave the buses are almost always too full for anyone to get on.

    Dedicated bus lanes during rush hour and BPD enforcement of parking violations in front of bus stops would be a great start. We’ve seen how incremental improvements have helped speed up buses in Roslindale – bring these ideas to Allston as well!
  • Gregory Kelly
    answered 2018-09-10 10:45:24 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: Connectivity between Brighton and downtown needs to be improved. Taking the bus from Oak Square to Kenmore takes twice as long as riding a bike, but sometimes it rains, and other times you can’t show up in need of a shower at your destination. The 57 is also the closest thing that the neighborhood has to a direct (or near-direct) link to Downtown during the times when the express buses do not run (night, mid-day, weekends).
  • Jordan Meehan 🏳️‍🌈
    @JordanMeehan tweeted link to this page. 2018-09-06 13:57:05 -0400
    Thousands of people rely on the 57 and 66 buses. Brighton Ave is almost always packed with cars and traffic. It's time for a dedicated bus lane on Brighton Ave. #InvestInTransit #Allston #bospoli | Getting Allston On Board https://www.livablestreets.info/getting_allston_on_board?recruiter_id=17228
  • Jordan Meehan 🏳️‍🌈
    answered 2018-09-06 13:53:14 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: People need to get to and from work on time! Thousands of people rely on the 57 and 66 buses, and this stretch of Brighton Ave is almost always packed with cars and traffic. A dedicated bus lane is the best solution to reduce traffic and ensure better bus service.
  • Nate Goudreault
    answered 2018-09-06 11:55:18 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: To improve my commute to work and have a more reliable method of transit
  • Emily Breitbart
    answered 2018-09-06 09:55:35 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: To get to work on time!
  • Harry Mattison
    answered 2018-09-06 09:29:31 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: The buses in Allston are so slow! Please create dedicated bus/bike lanes to help more people move faster. It is better for the environment too.
  • Neil Guertin
    answered 2018-09-05 20:08:02 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: I need better bus service in this area to connect me to the new Boston Landing commuter rail station and to the B Line and downtown Boston. A dedicated bus lane on Brighton Ave would improve transit times through Allston and would send a signal to those looking to move here that you don’t need a car, which would free up space in the area for more homes and businesses and would make the city a more pleasant place to live.
  • William Paquette
    answered 2018-09-05 16:53:23 -0400
    Q: Why do you need faster, more reliable bus service?
    A: I have lived in Brighton Center for several years now and while I cycle frequently, the various bus routes in the area serve as my main connection to other areas of the city. Too often our buses are stuck in traffic caused by single occupant vehicles, many who are not residents in the neighborhood, causing those of us that rely on public transportation to be delayed. We need solutions that move our city away from car-centric development and focus on alternative mobility options. Please make this happen.