The pick-up and drop-off trial is designed to minimise the disruption that can often accompany ride-sharing services in cities
The Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is launching dedicated zones for ride-sharing to ease congestion and improve safety in the city.
A pilot will run in the Fenway starting with the intersection of Boylston Street and Kilmarnock Street. Anyone can use the designated zone for pick-ups and drop-offs from 5pm, overnight and into the early morning hours.
This pilot has been created to minimise traffic disruptions that often accompany ride-sharing services. The new kerbside zone in the Fenway will allow these vehicles to continue to offer their transportation services, but in a way that supports the City of Boston’s Vision Zero safety goals and helps to improve traffic flow on Boston streets.The pilot is designed to ease congestion caused by double parking and to increase safety for passengers entering and exiting vehicles.
“Our goal through this pilot, and through all of our transportation initiatives, is to make sure Boston’s neighbourhood streets are safe, accessible, and equitable for all residents,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “Ride-sharing services have changed the way people travel – and with 35 million trips starting in Boston every year, this pilot will help us improve streets in our city, and bring us further towards our Go Boston 2030 and Vision Zero goals.”
The Boston Transportation Department will install signage to help drivers and passengers find the zones and will evaluate the programme to gauge its impact. The pilot zones will only apply to the blocks where they are located. Consequently, the locations affected will be the immediate blocks to the west and east of Kilmarnock Street on Boylston Street.
“We’re thrilled to see the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics explore innovative projects like this one,” said Tyler George, New England general manager of ride-sharing company Lyft. "These zones will not only make moving around the area more convenient and frictionless, but it can meaningfully reduce congestion and improve the experience for drivers, riders, and the Greater Boston community."
"With 35 million trips starting in Boston every year, this pilot will help us improve streets in our city, and bring us further towards our Go Boston 2030 and Vision Zero goals”
Other transportation and infrastructure improvements recently announced by Mayor Walsh in his Boston Municipal Bureau Speech include lowering speed limit on city streets to 20mph, designing a pilot for adaptive traffic signals, launching a city-wide education campaign on road safety, expanding the bus lanes pilot to more neighbourhoods and providing MBTA passes to all students grades 7-12.
Mayor Walsh has also submitted transportation bills to the Massachusetts Legislature aimed at efficiently supporting residents by providing investment in transportation infrastructure, reducing carbon emissions from motor vehicles, and providing for safer streets.
An Act Relative to Transportation Network Company Rider Assessments would add a charge to transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft operating during rush hours to be invested in local roads and transit, including improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. It would also reduce charges for pooled rides and the use of electric vehicles.
The pick-up and drop-off pilot aligns with Mayor Walsh’s initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicle driving behaviours such as circling the block or idling to find a passenger.
The pilot also furthers the goals established in Go Boston 2030, the City of Boston’s comprehensive transportation plan. Execution of the plan is well underway with action being taken on more than half of the 58 projects and policies identified.
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