BOSTON (CBS) — A pilot program creating a bus/bike lane on Washington Street in Roslindale began Monday morning.
The Boston Transportation Department and MBTA will be testing the system on a stretch of road from Roslindale Village to Forest Hills Station for four weeks.
From 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., the inbound, curbside lane can only be used only by MBTA buses, school buses, and bicyclists. Typically, the lane is used for parking.
While parking will be prohibited during that time, the lane dedicated to general traffic on Washington Street will not be impacted.
“One of the things that we’ve seen is that by having the dedicated bus lane, you actually allow buses to not have to weave in and out of vehicular flow and consequently it can make a more consistent drive for those people who are driving a personal vehicle,” explained Boston’s Chief of Streets Chris Osgood.
During the pilot program, traffic cones will distinguish the bus lane from general traffic throughout the morning and then they will be removed by 9 a.m.
According to Osgood, about 19,000 people travel through the area each day, and the majority of them do so on a bus.
MBTA General Manager Luiz Ramirez was also checking out the bus lane Monday morning. He planned to take the bus down the street then continue on to work.
A similar program in Everett was so successful it became permanent, according to Ramirez. He hoped this pilot program would show ride times decreasing “by a number of minutes.”
The MBTA and the city are asking for feedback from anyone who rides the bus or works in the Washington Street area.
At least one bus rider already approves. Vanessa told WBZ-TV as she hopped on a bus, “I think it’s a great program and I think they should continue to have it. It gets me to work faster.”