The City of Everett and MassDOT will extend their Broadway bus-only lane pilot program “until the foreseeable future” according to the Mayor’s office, The Advocate learned Thursday.
The program, a part of the Everett Area Transit Action Plan, creates a bus-only lane between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the southbound side of Broadway in the area otherwise used for parking spaces. The plan is supposed to improve commuting times for MBTA bus passengers, who make up the majority of rush hour commuters down Broadway, and to clear up the road for the passenger vehicles and commercial traffic that would typically compete with the buses on Broadway.
The pilot was originally to last only until the end of this week. Now with the extension, it will run until at least the end of next week, though no definitive timeline has been given.
The city has heard complaints from two businesses on Broadway about the program, fearing that it will drive away potential customers attempting to enter their businesses. The mayor’s office has committed to work with those businesses to “see what’s possible” to address their concerns.
“One of the things a pilot program’s for is to collect data,” said Tom Philbin, the Mayor’s Communications Director. “So one of things we’re going to do is to see how much of a problem it actually is. We’ll make some tweaks to it now, but we need to see how much of an impact it will have first, but otherwise it’s been positive so far. … The city’s excited about it. Traffic is flowing better than it typically does.”