The MBTA’s Smart New Program

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Rather than big dollar expansion projects, the MBTA’s Key Bus Routes program stands as an example of modest incremental investments that can yield improved service (and potentially increased ridership).

The program released its initial design for improvements to the 39 bus route on Tuesday, and the results are promising.  They are eliminating a handful of stops, moving some bus stops, marking them more prominently, and lengthening several of them. The goal is to lower the number of stops and create stops that are clear of illegal parkers and can be more easily used by drivers (as opposed to having them stop in the flow of traffic).

The presentation also makes non-specific commitments to improved traffic signal coordination and technology-driven ‘anti-bunching’ practices.

The 39, along with the other routes targeted in the program, is a high-volume route, with 14,000 boardings on a typical weekday.  By focusing on how to improve their service using existing and incremental resources, the MBTA is intelligently doing more with less.

Also seen in Boston Magazine.