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Regional Bus Network Assessment

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About the Project

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Rail and Transit Division is developing a Regional Bus Network Assessment toBus Plus - A Program sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation identify projects to expand regional bus service in underserved corridors.

This study builds upon the work completed for the Massachusetts Regional Bus Study (June 2013), which included a historical review of private carrier regional bus services in Massachusetts, identified underserved areas, and suggested measures for improving services to meet the Commonwealth’s needs. The Massachusetts Regional Bus Study redefined “regional bus” to include both intercity and commuter bus services, and addressed both intrastate and interstate services.

This Regional Bus Network Assessment will:

  • Develop a comprehensive list of potential improvements to the regional bus system,
  • Evaluate these service alternatives against criteria that reflect MassDOT’s goals and objectives, and
  • Provide implementation plans for the recommended projects, including estimates of ridership, revenue, costs, and capital requirements.

MassDOT’s Rail and Transit Division will use the implementation plans to develop new services and service improvements under its BusPlus Program. The BusPlus Program is an innovative public-private partnership designed to create a stronger and broader regional bus network and increase bus ridership throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on customer service amenities.

Public Survey

We want to hear from you! Please click on the survey links below to tell us your opinion of intercity and commuter service in New England.

Intercity Bus

Intercity bus is bus service that is part of the national bus and rail network, connecting two or more cities or cities to rural areas. Tell MassDOT about your unmet intercity bus needs by completing this survey: 

English Intercity Traveler Survey 

Spanish Intercity Traveler Survey

Portuguese Intercity Traveler Survey

Chinese Intercity Traveler Survey

Commuter Bus

Commuter bus is bus service that mainly takes people to and from work during rush hour. Tell MassDOT about your unmet commuter bus needs by completing this survey:  

English Commuter Bus Survey

Spanish Commuter Bus Survey

Portuguese Commuter Bus Survey

Chinese Commuter Bus Survey

Project Meetings/ Schedule

MassDOT's Rail and Transit Division hosted the kick-off meeting for the project’s Technical Advisory Committee on April 1, 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to provide committee members with an overview of the project scope and schedule, and to obtain their input on goals and service standards for MassDOT’s regional bus program.

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Documents

Project Schedule

  1. Conduct Stakeholder and Public Outreach on Regional Bus Goals and Needs (April-May 2015)
    1. Phone calls, emails, and/or surveys to the Commonwealth’s regional transit authorities (RTAs), regional planning agencies, regional coordinating councils (RCCs), Departments of Transportation for every New England state and New York,  and private regional bus carriers
    2. Online survey of regional bus riders
    3. Survey of general public
  2. Determine Evaluation Criteria for Potential Regional Bus Improvements (April-May 2015)
  3. Review Existing Conditions and Identify Issues (April-May 2015)
  4. Develop Service Alternatives and Review with Technical Advisory Committee (June 2015)
  5. Analyze Service Alternatives against Evaluation Criteria (July 2015)
  6. Determine Preferred Alternatives and Review with Technical Advisory Committee (July-August 2015)
  7. Conduct Public Outreach on Preferred Alternatives (July-August 2015)
    1. Regional public forums
    2. Online survey
  8. Develop Implementation Plans for Recommended Alternatives (August 2015)
  9. Present Final Report to Technical Advisory Committee and Post on Project Website (August-September 2015)

Background

Expanding and improving the regional bus network is one of many projects that MassDOT is implementing to 1) carry out the Rail and Transit Division’s mission to expand mobility options for residents, businesses, and visitors to the Commonwealth, and 2) meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, which includes active efforts to shift travel to alternative modes of transportation including transit.

Under the BusPlus Program, MassDOT offers subsidies to private carriers to implement regional bus improvements. Coordinating with neighboring states will be important where it is common for regional bus routes to cross state boundaries. In a region as compact as New England, it is important for MassDOT to maintain a regional perspective. Many of the regional bus services operated in Massachusetts are regional in nature, originating or ending in neighboring states but serving residents of the Commonwealth. The Rail and Transit Division is working with other states to improve the quality of regional bus services, with goals to increase ridership and improve air quality in Massachusetts and the New England region.

Regional Transportation Resources

Final Report

Regional Bus Network Assessment Final Report (14 MB)
Final Report - Appendices (2 MB)

If you have any comments or questions about the Regional Bus Network Assessment, email us.

You may also contact:

Abril Novoa, Transit Program Coordinator, MassDOT – Rail and Transit Division
Tel: (857) 368-8968
Email: regionalbusnetworkbuildoutstudy@dot.state.ma.us

Fred Fravel, Vice President, KFH Group, Inc.

Tel: (301) 951-8660
Email: ffravel@kfhgroup.com

Jill Stober, Senior Transportation Planner, KFH Group, Inc.
Tel: (301) 951-8660
Email: jstober@kfhgroup.com

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