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mbta-logoMassDOT and the MBTA today announced that there will be a limited test of MBTA Silver Line buses using a ramp from MassPort’s Haul Road in South Boston’s Seaport District to I-90 eastbound. The three-day test will take place during afternoon peak travel periods to help assess whether 60-foot, articulated buses can operate safely on the ramp and reduce Silver Line trip times.

In coordination with the MassDOT Highway Division and Massachusetts State Police, the MBTA will operate Silver Line buses, bound for Chelsea and Logan Airport, on the ramp into the Ted Williams Tunnel during the afternoons of August 27, 28 and 29.

To safely merge onto I-90 eastbound, Silver Line bus operators will only use the ramp when speeds are at 30 mph or less. In addition, prior to entering the ramp, drivers will be notified that the ramp may be used for travel by a lane use signal and then by an MBTA Inspector on the roadway. A radar detector installed at the access ramp merge point near the I-90 eastbound tunnel portal will be collecting the speeds of motor vehicles on I-90 eastbound to help determine whether the Silver Line buses can safely merge. This radar detector will automatically communicate to a signal on the Massport Haul Road. The VMS board will be manually turned on and off at the beginning and end of the afternoon peak travel period.

To date, this ramp has been used by public safety personnel only. During the three-day test, transportation personnel will collect data and other information to help determine if safety considerations and operational complexities for Silver Line buses can be met. Traffic conditions such as vehicle speeds during this time will be representative of standard roadway conditions at this location.

Following this three-day test, officials will evaluate the ramp’s use and present findings at a fall meeting of the MassDOT Board and Fiscal and Management Control Board, along with identifying next steps.

The use of the ramp during afternoon hours on August 27, 28 and 29 by Silver Line buses is subject to weather conditions and other factors.

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