Level Boarding Premieres in Everett for Bus Passengers

July 9, 2018
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On Wednesday, June 20, Everett’s Department of Public Works began installing level boarding at a Broadway bus stop. Starting this summer, the City of Everett and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) are collaborating to test “level boarding” at two bus stations in Everett Square.

“Taking the bus should be easy and fast for everyone,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “The design of traditional bus stations and stops isn’t inclusive to riders who have mobility challenges or who travel with baby strollers or carts. We want to offer easy access for all riders.”

Station platforms will be installed at the same level as bus doors to empower all bus riders on Routes 97, 104, 109, 110, and 112 to board and exit without delay—just like on a subway.

Level boarding is the second feature of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that Everett is incorporating to its bus system. In 2016, Everett began a dedicated bus-only lane in the mornings down Broadway, creating a faster and more reliable bus experience for riders.

“As one of the few area cities without rail access, we know how important it is for our streets to move people more efficiently,” said the mayor. “We’ve had such great success in piloting the dedicated bus lane on Broadway and are excited and grateful to the MBTA and Barr Foundation for their assistance to further improve this busway.”

Everett will also incorporate re-timed traffic signals called “Transit Signal Priority” at three locations along Broadway to give southbound buses added green light time when needed while improving traffic flow overall.

Building on Everett’s dedicated bus-only lane through a level boarding pilot will create a faster, more reliable commute for 7,500 riders on the five key routes along Broadway and in Everett Square and thousands more who use the routes to and from Boston, Malden, Chelsea, and Revere.

The level boarding pilot is part of a long-term Everett Transit Action Plan, which includes major service and route improvements, transit investments, and bike and pedestrian access. With ridership on Upper Broadway bus lines are projected to increase by more than 25 percent by 2040, moving Everett’s bus system in the direction of BRT is key to establishing Broadway as one of Greater Boston’s best transit corridors and providing a strong pathway for future transit investments.