Tobin Bridge Bus Lane Set to Open Monday

Pilot project is the result of a CLF settlement

The Tobin bridge runs through Chelsea, an environmental justice community

December 10, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – On Monday, a new southbound bus-only lane will be created on the Tobin Bridge, allowing riders to bypass over a mile of traffic. The bus lane pilot program is the result of a settlement between Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which also resulted in the I-93 carpool lane being reinstated, among several other projects.

“It’s time to stop pandering to car travel at the expense of public transit,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at CLF. “People who depend on the bus are constantly delayed as the Tobin is inundated with single-occupancy cars. This new lane will slash those travel times benefiting Chelsea residents and workers. Making public transportation faster and more reliable is a key strategy to relieve the gridlock that has plagued our region.”

“GreenRoots and public transit riders are excited to see this historic bus lane implemented,” said Maria Belen Power, Associate Executive Director of GreenRoots. “We are deeply grateful to CLF for its critical role in ensuring the State prioritizes transit-dependent communities like Chelsea.”

In addition to re-instating the HOV lane and adding the Tobin bus-only lane, transportation officials also agreed to the following in a settlement with CLF:

  • A pilot allowing buses traveling on I-93 between Woburn and Somerville to use the right-hand shoulder, effectively creating a bus-only lane.
  • A study of future locations within the I-495 area for bus lanes, HOV lanes, and roadway pricing, with input from environmental justice communities.
  • Maintaining HOV lanes and only making changes to those lanes following the legally required process that includes seeking public input.

CLF experts are available for further comment.