MBTA crosstown bus routes

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Geographic map of MBTA crosstown bus routes as originally introduced. The CT1 is colored aqua, the CT2 navy, and the CT3 peach.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates two specially designated crosstown bus routes in the Boston, Massachusetts, United States area, called CT2 and CT3, and intended as limited-stop buses connecting major points. These crosstown buses are designated differently from older de facto crosstown routes, such as the #1 (Harvard/Holyoke Gate - Dudley Station via Massachusetts Avenue) and the #66 (Harvard Square - Dudley Station via Allston & Brookline Village). The bus services are very similar in equipment and fare structure, except that the CT routes have more-limited stops. Both types of routes suffer from frequent delays, unreliable service, and bus bunching caused by congestion in heavy mixed traffic.

The CT crosstown buses were envisioned as a first phase in a gradual improvement of circumferential service connecting the radial "spokes" of the Metro Boston rapid transit system, planned to culminate in the Urban Ring. The CT routes run weekdays only; all buses in this service have bicycle racks and are based out of the Albany Street garage. The routes were first introduced in September 1994 and have been modified since.[1] A third route, the CT1, was merged with route 1 in 2019.[1]

With the suspension of the Urban Ring Project (due to lack of funding), the crosstown bus routes remain as an interim service to meet demand for circumferential routes that bypass the crowded subway stations in the hub of downtown Boston.


Routes 1 and CT1 buses in August 2015

The CT1 Central Square, Cambridge - B.U. Medical Center/Boston Medical Center via M.I.T. (internally coded 701) ran between Central Square in Cambridge and the B.U. Medical Center/Boston Medical Center, mostly along Massachusetts Avenue. The majority of its route was a limited-stop version of route 1. Transfers to the 1 were possible at most of the stops. CT1 service was not substantially modified since its 1994 inception.[1] Route CT1 was merged into route 1 in September 2019 to provide more frequent service and more consistent headways.[2]

Station listing[edit]

Central Square
Pearl Street
University Park
Beacon Street
Hynes Convention Center
Symphony/Westland Avenue
Massachusetts Avenue Station
Washington Street
Harrison Avenue
B.U. Medical Center


MBTA #0276 in Crosstown Bus branding on the CT2 line at Sullivan Square

The CT2 Sullivan Station - Ruggles Station via Kendall/MIT (internally coded 747) connects Sullivan Square in Charlestown with Ruggles in Roxbury via Kendall Square in Cambridge. The southern part of the route roughly parallels the 47.

The route was created as a Ruggles-Kendall route in September 1994. In September 2000, the route was extended to Sullivan via Union Square.[1]

Station listing[edit]

Station Transfers and notes
Sullivan Square Orange Line, 86, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 101, 104, 105, 109
Cobble Hill 86, 91
McGrath Highway 80, 86, 88, 90, 91, future Green Line "C" Branch
Union Square 85, 86, 87, 91, future Green Line "E" Branch
Cambridge Street 69, 85
Portland Street 85
Kendall/MIT Red Line, 64, 68, 85
Massachusetts Avenue CT1, 1
Memorial Drive -
Boston University Green Line "B" Branch, 47
Park and Beacon Streets Green Line "C" Branch, 47
Fenway Station Green Line "D" Branch, 47
Beth Israel Hospital CT3, 8, 19, 47, 60, 65
Children's Hospital CT3, 8, 19, 47
Longwood Avenue Green Line "E" Branch, 39
Huntington Avenue Green Line "E" Branch, CT3, 8, 19, 39, 47
Ruggles Orange Line, MBTA Commuter Rail, CT3, 8, 15, 19, 22, 23, 28, 43, 44, 45, 47


A route CT3 bus on Brookline Avenue in September 2012

The CT3 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Andrew Station via B.U. Medical Center (internally coded 708) connects the Longwood Medical Area to Andrew Square and runs entirely within the city of Boston. The route roughly parallels the 8.

The CT3 route started as Beth Israel - Andrew, but it was extended to Logan Airport in December 1998. The extension (internally coded 709) was dropped due to low ridership in March 2002. A few early morning trips were kept as the 171, running from Dudley to Logan.[1] In January 2005, some rush hour service was rerouted to serve Newmarket Square.[1]

Station listing[edit]

Station Transfers and notes
Louis Pasteur Avenue 8, 19, 47
(part of a one-way loop)
Children's Hospital CT2, 8, 19, 47
(part of a one-way loop)
Beth Israel Hospital CT2, 8, 19, 47, 60, 65
(part of a one-way loop)
Ruggles Street/Huntington Avenue Green Line "E" Branch, CT2, 8, 19, 39, 47
Ruggles Orange Line, MBTA Commuter Rail, CT2, 8, 15, 19, 22, 23, 28, 43, 44, 45, 47
Washington Street Silver Line, 1, 8, 19, 47, 170
Boston Medical Center CT1, 1, 8, 47, 171
B.U. Medical Center CT1, 8, 10, 47, 171
1010 Massachusetts Avenue 8, 10, 171
(only some trips)
Andrew Station Red Line, 10, 16, 17, 18, 171

See also[edit]


KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c d e f Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  2. ^ "Board Approves 36 Bus Route Updates". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. May 6, 2019.

External links[edit]