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Transportation

Inside Boston's Bus Revamp

Unlike Houston, which completely redrew bus routes across its sprawling grid all at once, the T will take a piece-by-piece approach on the city’s winding roads.
relates to Inside Boston's Bus Revamp
Josh Reynolds/AP

The hottest trend in public transportation isn’t autonomous vehicles or aerial trams. Increasingly, transit advocates and operators are focused on the bread-and-butter basics of running fast, frequent, and reliable bus service. Now, Boston is poised to become the latest city to revamp its bus network, using modeling from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to both improve trips for existing passengers and bring new riders on board.

“If you were to look at a 1920s streetcar map of Boston, the [bus] route network doesn’t look too different today,” says Scott Hamwey, manager of long range planning at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. “We haven’t really updated our service plan in seven or eight years now, so this will be an opportunity to determine where demand has shifted.”