Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit Starts Pilot Program Through June 6

By Seth Daniel

The Barr Foundation and several partners, including the MBTA and MassDOT, will be embarking on a new pilot program through June 6 that will hopefully speed up the SL4 and SL5 lines through all-door boarding.

The pilot will be in effect from Dudley Square to downtown on the Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

“During the Silver Line Better Bus Experience, riders will be able to board and exit buses through all doors to test how this improvement creates a faster, more convenient, and reliable ride,” read a letter from Wilnelia Rivera, BRT Project Manager and a consultant to the Barr Foundation. “Two-thirds of the delay on the SL4 and SL5 comes from the amount of time it takes for riders to get on and off the bus. Riders currently only board at the front door, in a single-file line, paying as they get on. This creates wait time at each stop that adds up over the course of a ride.

The demonstration will also include two other core BRT elements that already exist along certain parts of the route: dedicated bus-only lanes and transit signal priority, which minimizes the number of time buses are stopped at red lights. Testing all-door boarding together with these existing BRT elements will showcase the possibilities of implementing true BRT throughout Greater Boston.

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