There’s good news for Green Line riders who lament the crawl of their daily commutes.
The MBTA has been reconfiguring traffic lights to give Green Line trains priority over street traffic, and officials hope to make the changes permanent in the fall.
Jessica Casey, a deputy chief operating officer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said the new system could speed up a trip on the Green Line’s B branch by 30 seconds.
“That’s a big deal,” Casey said Monday at a meeting of the authority’s oversight board.
Why is the reworking of traffic lights — known as “transit signal priority” — such a game changer? If the lights reduce the time that Green Line drivers have to stop at red lights and yield to car traffic, the trains will be spaced out better. That helps avoid the annoying “bunching” scenario, when several arrive in close succession.
So far, four intersections are using the technology:
Commonwealth Avenue and Silber Way, and Commonwealth Avenue and St. Mary’s Street, both on the B branch; and Huntington Avenue and Evans Way and Huntington Avenue and Longwood Avenue, which are on the E branch.
Officials are also testing the new system on the C branch at the intersection of Carlton and Beacon streets. They hope to conclude the testing by June.
“This is a key initiative for all of us,” said Jeff Gonneville, the MBTA’s chief operating officer.