Whether you’re for bus lanes or against them, they’re coming to Summer Street this spring/summer.

The City of Boston is launching a six-month pilot bus/truck lane program this spring/summer on Summer Street between South Station and South Boston. This project will include bus/truck lanes, better bike lanes, and improvements to pedestrian infrastructure. According to the City, these updates will make this corridor safer, more reliable, and more efficient for users.

Meeting on Wednesday

Be informed. A public meeting will be held to discuss the Summer Street Bus Lane Pilot Program at the Tynan Elementary School (650 E. 4th Street, South Boston) on Wednesday regarding the upcoming Summer Street Pilot Program. The goal of this meeting is to provide information about the pilot program and solicit community feedback.  The meeting will begin with an open house from 5:00 PM to 6:30. At 6:30; the open house will transition into a presentation followed by a discussion.

Letter from City Councilor Ed Flynn

Dear neighbors,
The Boston Transportation Department will be hosting a Summer Street Pilot Plan Public Meeting at the Tynan School Auditorium tonight, April 19th from 5pm-8pm – with an Open House running from 5pm-6:30pm and a Presentation and Questions taking place from 6:30pm-8pm. The city will present a pilot plan proposal to add bus/truck lanes on Summer St. I strongly encourage you to please attend if possible, and to notify your friends, family, neighbors and civic group members about this important neighborhood meeting.
The South Boston Elected Officials and I have made our concerns clear to the city on several occasions that any long-term reconfiguration to Summer Street has the potential to negatively impact Conley Terminal, a significant driver of our city, state, and regional economy, as well as many local businesses and industries in the South Boston Waterfront and those that the city hopes to attract. 
Please note, after talking with local business leaders, neighbors and other partners, we have expressed on several occasions to the city that we support bus lanes at appropriate locations to relieve areas of high congestion and move our workforce, like the one-block stretch that was implemented further along Summer St approaching South Station; however, extending this lane down Summer Street in areas that did not have pre-pandemic bottleneck traffic, and now with reduced traffic flow on account of remote and hybrid work policies, has the potential to create the very conditions that we would be trying to alleviate of stop and go traffic and increasing pollution – seemingly be a solution in search of a problem.
The South Boston Elected Officials and I have also contacted the city officials regarding our serious concerns on a lack of a thorough community process. This pilot will have a critical impact in South Boston, and it warrants appropriate community feedback where residents have ample opportunity to comment on its feasibility. Given the importance of this pilot and the need for neighborhood input, we requested this public meeting at the Tynan School in South Boston.
In my opinion, to date, the Summer Street Multimodal Corridor Pilot meetings were not well publicized, with the general public having had no knowledge of the meetings. There were two drop-in sessions at the library, with a very small number of attendees at each session. That turnout illustrated to us how little awareness there was in the neighborhood for these meetings, and is wholly unrepresentative of both the public interest and community involvement this topic deserves. Moreover, they occurred during St. Patrick’s Day festivities in March, with many residents and neighborhood associations not able to attend or even aware of these meetings at all. There have been serious and legitimate concerns from the community that this pilot will not only begin, but will be made permanent, without any genuine neighborhood engagement. 
Therefore, the Boston Transportation Department agreed to partner with us and hold this community meeting on Wednesday evening to further engage the people of South Boston on the Summer Street Multimodal Corridor Pilot Plan. Again, there will be an Open House from 5pm-6:30pm, with a Presentation and Questions from 6:30-8pm. 
I strongly encourage everyone to please make time to attend this public meeting to voice your thoughts and concerns. You can learn more about the Summer Street pilot here: boston.gov/summer-street-pilot. Please share this information with your neighbors, families, friends and civic group members.
Thank you,

From the City’s website:

Using community feedback, we have identified Summer Street as an opportunity for near-term, multimodal improvements. Our plan considers a range of transportation improvements throughout the corridor. The pilot will begin with a series of short-term changes that will be made permanent if found to be successful.

  • New pilot bus / truck lanes  will provide better passenger amenities while improving the reliability of bus service. Trucks will also be permitted to use the bus lane to accommodate heavy truck traffic from Massport. These lanes will be permanently implemented if they are found to be useful during the pilot period in Spring 2023.
  • Protected bike facilities will allow for low-stress and safe connections between South Boston and Downtown Boston. New connections will be made between existing infrastructure.
  • An improved pedestrian experience will be had with the addition of transit/bike infrastructure. With improved traffic management along the corridor, pedestrians will be able to have a safer experience.

A series of in-person meetings will take place over the next month.  See details below:

  • Thursday, April 13th from 5 – 8 pm at Seaport Hampton Inn, 670 Summer Street
  • Wednesday, April 19th from 5 – 8 pm at Tynan School in South Boston, 650 E Fourth Street
  • Monday, May 1st from 5 – 8 pm at the Seaport District Hall75 Northern Avenue

You can read more about the pilot program here. 

Mass Street Blog offers its perspective on bus lanes here. 


  1. B April 6, 2023 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Summer Street is going to be a nightmare, one lane for cars. … a continuous traffic jam, all day long

    • B2 April 18, 2023 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Sounds like a nightmare for cars, and a dream for everyone else :)

      But seriously, dedicated lanes for different modes of transit have repeatedly proven to be better for all types of transit. And cars could stand to slow down on Summer Street, anyway. Spend 30 seconds looking at that 25 MPH sign after the bridge and you might be inclined to agree.

      Unless, of course, you’re a person who believes that cars are more important than people.

    • mattyc April 19, 2023 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      perhaps slowing travel on Summer will keep cars coming from the south on the highway where they belong instead of making south Boston the morning cut-through of choice for commuters who have no business commuting through a neighborhood.

  2. Tom April 18, 2023 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    My view is simple:
    – Speeds on the street need to be controlled
    – Additional effective transit options into the Seaport are desperately needed
    – Impacts to current uses need to be understood by collecting and analyzing data

    Changes are needed to the South Boston thruway (Summer Street), a pilot is an effective way of clarifying options and determining the best path forward..

  3. George April 20, 2023 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I went to meeting. This was decided before community input. My 2 cents put bike lanes on sidewalk like In ft point. Also make bikes register with city a bike license plate and send them an excise bill also for safety a helmet law. Nice revenue for bike lanes. Not discussed #7 going to Sullivan square in Charlestown with no bus lanes after South Station. WE NEED ANOTHER MEETING At TYANN.

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