This guide lays out a recipe to help local staff members, leaders, and advocates identify the right ingredients to launch successful bus improvements in high ridership, high delay corridors in their communities. These projects can seem daunting in their complexity, but they are important tools in achieving climate, equity, and transit goals, as well as improving quality of life for the thousands of people in our region.
The guide identifies crucial stakeholders and project milestones. It offers examples of successful strategies, and it distills lessons learned. We identified six bus priority projects that started turning the wheels of change in the region. These projects were the first to involve quick, temporary, and easy to change elements in order to influence the permanent design.
The information this guide sets forth was drawn from over thirty in-depth interviews with stakeholders involved in the six different projects we identify below:
- Everett's inbound bus lane on Broadway
- Boston's inbound bus lane on Washington Street in Roslindale
- Arlington's inbound bus lane on Massachusetts Avenue
- Cambridge and Watertown's inbound bus lane on Mount Auburn Street
- Boston's inbound bus lane on Brighton Avenue in Brighton
- Somerville's inbound and outbound bus lanes on Broadway
These six projects are described in detail in the individual case studies found after the workbook. You'll find examples from these projects throughout this guide that illustrate the different strategies municipal staff and their partners have used to accomplish progressive bus improvements.
Every project's recipe will be different, and will require different ingredients, as well as different amounts of each. The projects showcased in this guide may not be directly applicable to your community, but they offer a framework for considering strategies to improve bus transit. With the ingredients presented in this document, we encourage you to innovate and experiment. Not all will apply to your situation, and not all will follow the same order as we have them listed here. This guide is not prescriptive, but instead offers direction based on the experience of people involved in the six local bus improvement projects that were studied.