Hey, there! Log in / Register

Boston begins setting up bus-only lanes for Orange Line shuttles

Boston Streets Chief Jascha Franklin-Hodge reports contractors began laying down the stencils and paint tonight to create bus lanes down Boylston Street in Copley Square as the first set of temporary bus lanes for the charter buses that will move between Orange Line stations when the trains stop running for a month at 9 p.m. on Friday.

We’re marking around Copley Square now, and moving on to Government Center over the next few nights.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

For the life of me I can't understand why they're creating bus-only lanes on Boylston Street in Back Bay--it's not near the orange line. I thought the plan was to do this on Columbus Street???

The only thing I can think is that in addition to drastically expanding shuttle bus service, they'll also be expanding the 39 bus from Forest Hills to Copley during the orange line shutdown...?

up
Voting closed 11

so they need at least one block of Boylston in order to drop off and pick up passengers there.

up
Voting closed 34

39 bus already goes past Copley on its way to Back Bay Station. And Boylston Street is 2 blocks from Back Bay Station.

up
Voting closed 14

to seriously expect that heinous boob in the corner office and his pals to efficiently fix this problem that they themselves created? You think the BPD donut brigade is going to do ANY extra work, when we can’t get them to do their regular work? Send out the meter maids to ticket with the line of tow trucks following right behind, just like they do for street sweeping. Works great. Tow those cars, lock them up and charge daily until the car owner pays for storage plus a hefty fine. Even if that isn’t a deterrent, at least those particular cars won’t be blocking the bus lanes on that day.

up
Voting closed 13

To see how well the bus lanes operate toward the end of the shutdown when people have become accustomed to the traffic pattern and the modified stops.

Whenever officials talk about dedicated bus lanes and changes to roadway configurations, it's always a multi-year process with a dozen studies and hearings. Yet this proves it's possible to plan and make the changes in only a week when authorities are empowered to do so.

up
Voting closed 42

They had better gather data on the whole thing, instead of treating it solely as a temporary emergency measure.

up
Voting closed 13

After we get the dedicated bus lanes set up and the dedicated bike lanes going, the subway lines shut down, and lane restrictions throughout the Boston, we can schedule a Zoom call on why nobody comes downtown.

up
Voting closed 33

Has anyone actually _seen_ the plan that Charlie and the MBTA have to fix all of this?

Or are we still waiting for the latest Special Commission on Task Force Creation report?

up
Voting closed 18

to the hour or so of performative enforcement of these bus lanes until the news cameras leave, and then congratulate the city's UberEats drivers on their new dedicated parking lane

up
Voting closed 54

Yup. you know that's what is gonna happen. Or my fav

Promise: Shuttles will leave every 5 mins
Actual: Only during rush hour, good luck if its during the day, after 8pm, or a weekend. One crammed bus might come once every 20 mins.

-

Promise: We'll enforce the bus lanes
Actual: We'll only do this in the AM and PM rush hours, and after about 2 weeks, its non existent. Screw you if you need to ride after 8pm or a weekend.

up
Voting closed 32

As evidenced by the large number of cars parked in the Roslindale bus lane in either direction. Or the utterly useless North Washington St (northbound) bus lane. Or the Silver Line bus lane / perpetual standing zone near Chinatown station. Or the 57 lane on Brighton Ave. Or any other bus lane in the city, for that matter...

up
Voting closed 24

As I posted here. Its not gonna change without heavy enforcement

up
Voting closed 28

Although there aren't any bus lanes I'm familiar with which are consistently free of cars driving in them, North Washington Street/Cross Street seems like one of the worst bus lanes I've seen, which shouldn't be used as a model for how bus lanes work in general. It's a short stretch of road which leads to a constantly gridlocked intersection and the temporary bridge, (which in particular means even cars legitimately using the lane to make a left hand turn can easily get backed up) which makes it easy for cars to "misunderstand" how the lane works. If nothing else, the Orange Line shuttle bus lanes will be harder to accidentally overlook.

up
Voting closed 1

Illegal parking and used as as travel lane, all day everyday with zero enforcement.

Oh and a construction site that's taken a full lane for almost the entirety of the outbound lanes existence.

up
Voting closed 25

They have signage! And cones! Those are like space savers. Nobody will mess with them.

up
Voting closed 5

Maybe we can hire the space saver users as enforcers.

up
Voting closed 8

I was just about to post the same comment.

up
Voting closed 8

https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-02325

The Bus Lane Camera Program installs cameras at fixed locations and on buses in New York City to film vehicles that drive, park, or stand in bus lanes. Signs are posted where the cameras are in use to warn drivers to keep out of bus lanes except when making right turns or picking up or dropping off passengers.

If your vehicle is filmed driving, parking, or standing in a bus lane, you will be sent a Notice of Liability (NOL) in about 30 days.

up
Voting closed 27

Someone told me there was/is a bill on Beacon Hill that would allow for this. But it always dies..

I've said this before and I'll say it again, most of our issues come down to political willpower, unless there's a strong willpower & a vocal voice supporting it, it will get done. But if there isn't.. good luck.

Remember Pol's enact something like this, alot of motorists will be very upset that there's no more double parking or free 5 min parking in a bus stop. Those ppl vote too. And I am sure pol's do the same too. Hard to be for something when you do it yourself.

We've built a culture that says its OK to double park, drive in bus lanes, or park in bus stops. Without enforcement, it'll never stop.

up
Voting closed 14

It's like DUI laws and speeding/red light cameras too. If it's a crime legislators commit themselves, they aren't interested in enforcement. They don't want to pass a law which they personally would find inconveniencing.

up
Voting closed 11

There is already a state law that allows mailing of a parking fine (not moving violation) based on a witness providing footage. There are crowdsourced bike lane violation apps where people upload photos of vehicles (like Northeastern police cruisers...) violating bike lane laws, and the owners of the apps forward them to the city or port them into 311. The city won't fine people based on footage. They close the 311 requests and say "noted" or "call 911 next time" or "lane was clear when we drove by at 11pm two days later."

Hell, the Boston cops and traffic enforcement won't enforce bike lane laws when I see them out in person and ask them to please go ticket/tow someone blocking the lane my children and I are trying to use. Or when the police officer is the one sitting in it instead of using a legal spot 100 feet away and I ask them to move.

A bill to get cameras/software/personnel specifically allocated for this purpose would be great, but there's already a law allowing them to ticket, and they won't.

up
Voting closed 11

If the city actually enforced traffic laws they could make millions from ticketing criminal drivers and traffic would flow better and lives may even be saved. But they don’t because…I just don’t know.

up
Voting closed 22

Honestly, buses should just be legally permitted to ram any unauthorized vehicle in the bus-only lane. Kind of kidding but also increasingly less kidding......

up
Voting closed 22

but it will take some damage, unless special reinforced military-grade rams are placed on the bus fronts (might not be a bad idea)

up
Voting closed 9

Or are the police unions going to refuse because they are stilled pissed at MBTA management for refusing to transport officers on MBTA buses to large scale protests.

up
Voting closed 16

The Boylston and Govt center bus lanes seem like they are just serving the buses pickup/drop off areas. What about the streets from there to Forest Hills/Oak Grove?
Its insane that the shuttle bus replacement doesnt go the whole way from Oak Grove to Forest Hills. The state is stuck in the 50's where they think everyone commutes from outer neighborhoods or towns into downtown for work. The bus replacement is going to be slow enough, they should at least make it a one seat ride instead of 3!
When the state replaced the central artery, they never shut the old one down until the new one was open, even though it cost much more and took longer. With pubic transit users in MA, its always whats cheapest and most punishing so Baker and his pals at the Pioneer institute can coax as many people away from public transit as possible.

up
Voting closed 18

Trying to operate a single-seat ride between Back Bay and Government Center which serves most or all of the Orange Line stations ends up being VERY challenging and time-consuming. It's inconvenient, but probably faster to change to the Green Line. The trip northbound is particularly difficult unless they open the pedestrian section of Washington Street to the buses for the duration of the OL shutdown.

It might be more confusing, but IMO they ought to run two sets of shuttle buses for each end of the Orange line -- one that runs local for the outermost 3 or 4 stops (i.e. Oak Grove, Malden, Wellington, Assembly) and then express to downtown, and another that serves the stations in between as a local (so Assembly to Govt. Center). A bus that stops everywhere between Oak Grove and North Station is going to take an hour-plus. If you need to go from say, Wellington to Community College, you change at Assembly.

up
Voting closed 8

The Boylston and Govt center bus lanes seem like they are just serving the buses pickup/drop off areas. What about the streets from there to Forest Hills/Oak Grove?
Its insane that the shuttle bus replacement doesnt go the whole way from Oak Grove to Forest Hills. The state is stuck in the 50's where they think everyone commutes from outer neighborhoods or towns into downtown for work. The bus replacement is going to be slow enough, they should at least make it a one seat ride instead of 3!
When the state replaced the central artery, they never shut the old one down until the new one was open, even though it cost much more and took longer. With pubic transit users in MA, its always whats cheapest and most punishing so Baker and his pals at the Pioneer institute can coax as many people away from public transit as possible.

up
Voting closed 4

I got this breakdown and simplification from a T person posting to a T Facebook page.

SHUTTLE BUSES:
Three (3) shuttle routes will be implemented, all of which will connect directly to the Green Line:

++ Oak Grove to Government Center
Stopping at: Malden, Wellington, Assembly, Sullivan, Community Coll, North Sta., Haymarket, Gov't Ctr,
++ Union Sq. to Government Center
Stopping at: Lechmere, Science Park, North Sta., Haymarket, Gov't Ctr.
++ Copley to Forest Hills
Stopping at: Mass Ave., Ruggles, Roxbury Cross., Jackson, Stony Brook, Green, Forest Hills

DOWNTOWN STATIONS:
Tufts, Chinatown, DTX and State will NOT have shuttle service (except accessibility vans)

State & DTX are in close proximity to each other, and can be accessed via walking, or using the Blue/Red Lines via a connection at Gov't Ctr. or Park using the Green Line.

Chinatown is in close proximity to the Boylston Green Line Station.

Tufts Medical Center can be accessed by using the SL5 or #43 bus at Boylston or Temple Place (DTX/Park St. area)

COMMUTER RAIL ALTERNATIVE:
The Commuter Rail will play a key role during this shutdown by providing a faster and easier way to commute in/out of Boston. Customers traveling to/from ANY station in zones 1A, 1, and 2 can ride for no charge by showing a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket.

North Side: ALL Haverhill trains will stop at Oak Grove, Malden, and North Station

South Side: ALL Needham and SOME Prov/Stoughton trains will stop at Forest Hills, Ruggles, Back Bay, and South Station.

This includes the entire Needham line (all stations). the entire Fairmount Line (all stations), and the Providence/Stoughton line as far as Rt 128 station for the Zone 1, 1A, and 2 free rides. Special schedules for commuter trains making extra stops at MBTA transit stations is now available at the MBTA web site under each train's schedule page.

LOCAL BUS ALTERNATIVES:
It is strongly encouraged to utilize local bus routes that connect with the Orange Line. These routes include:
CT2: Ruggles to Sullivan via Union Sq. (M-F only)
SL4/5: Nubian to South Station or Temple Place
39: Forest Hills to Back Bay via Copley
43: Ruggles to Park St. via Tremont St.
92/93: Downtown to Sullivan via Haymarket
104: Malden to Sullivan via Broadway & Ferry

For more information about this shutdown, please visit www.mbta.com/riderguide for detailed information about shuttles & alternatives.

up
Voting closed 10

What I can’t understand is why they don’t continue the shuttle down Boylston (or switch h to Stuart) to at least get closer to Tufts/Chinatown/Dntn Xng. A one-seat solution from forest hills to that area seems like the bare minimum they should be offering. Get out at back bay, walk to Copley, take the green line to Boylston is not realistic at all.

up
Voting closed 10