MBTA launches pilot program to improve bus stop signage

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul - Journalist/ Storyteller

In an effort to improve accessibility and clarity for bus riders, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has launched a pilot program to redesign bus stop signs.

The initiative, which began on April 8 and will run until May 3, 2024, is part of preparations for changes planned as part of Phase 1 of the Bus Network Redesign (BNR) program.
The new bus stop signs are designed to improve visibility and user-friendliness for passengers, according to an MBTA press release.

The MBTA has also scheduled eight pop-up events at pilot bus stops to gather user feedback.

These events are essential to gather public input and ensure that the new signage effectively meets their needs. Riders are encouraged to share their thoughts and suggestions on the new signs to help the MBTA finalize the design, said the MBTA’s communications office.
Phillip Eng, MBTA general manager, stressed the importance of clear, informative signage to enhance the overall transit experience.

“As we strive to provide more reliable and frequent routes, information and communication are just as essential for current and future riders,” said Phillip Eng. “Your input is invaluable as we embark on the first phase of the bus network redesign in December 2024,” Engineer Eng added.
The new bus stop signs feature several improvements, including increased size, double-sided displays for better visibility in both directions, and larger text and numbers for improved legibility.

In addition, a clock symbol indicating frequent bus routes will be included on the signs.
To facilitate community engagement and gather feedback, the MBTA plans to hold events at various bus stops in April and May.

These events allow riders to interact directly with MBTA officials and provide feedback on the proposed changes.
Calendar of events:
Malden Center (busway): Tuesday, April 9, 4-6 p.m.
Harvard (busway): Thursday, April 11, 4 pm to 6 pm
Nubian (busway): Tuesday, April 16, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Forest Hills (busway): Thursday, April 18, 4 pm – 6 pm
Brighton Ave opp Quint Ave: Tuesday, April 23, 7am – 9am
Talbot Ave @ Centre St : Thursday, April 25, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Dudley St @ Belden St: Tuesday, April 30, 3 pm to 5 pm
Center St @ Seaverns Ave: Thursday, May 2, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to these events, the new bus stop signs are being tested at various locations, including Boylston St @ Dartmouth St, Hyde Park Ave @ Mt Hope St, Hancock St @ Bowdoin St, Blue Hill Ave @ Morton St, Surface Rd @ Hanover St, and Park St @ Hawthorne St, the MBTA said.
The bus network redesign is a comprehensive initiative to reimagine Greater Boston’s bus network to better reflect the region’s travel needs and create a more efficient, user-friendly transit system.

Phase 1 of the redesign is scheduled for implementation in December 2024, with significant improvements planned for routes serving Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Malden, Somerville, Cambridge and East Boston.
Among the changes planned for Phase 1 are an increase in service frequency, route modifications and new connections with subway lines.

The MBTA will continue to engage with the community and provide updates on the progress of the bus network redesign.
For more information and to provide feedback, riders can visit

mbta.com/BusSigns and mbta.com/BNR or email BetterBusProject@mbta.com

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