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Everett hails bus-only lane as success

08bus - An MBTA bus drives down a dedicated lane converted from parking spaces on Broadway in Everett during a one week trial. The MBTA could use the project as a way to encourage other bus-only lane tests in traffic-snarled Boston. (Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe)
Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
An MBTA bus heading to Wellington Station in Medford has a lane to itself on Broadway in Everett.

After receiving a positive response, Everett officials have extended a pilot providing a bus-only lane on Broadway on weekdays from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Initial results from an MBTA survey of more than 300 bus riders found respondents unanimously backed the program and many said their commute times were significantly reduced.

The city estimates the bus-only lane has shortened trip times from Glendale Square to Sweetser Circle by up to eight minutes during peak travel times. City officials said they hope the time savings will lead to additional trips that could ease overcrowding on the buses.

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The program, which the city launched in early December with MBTA support, will remain in effect until further notice.

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“I witnessed firsthand the improved flow of traffic down Broadway, and saw buses flying down the bus lane unimpeded,” Mayor Carlo DeMaria said in a statement. “By extending the pilot we will be able to continue to examine the data and tweak the program.”

A city action plan to improve public transit included a recommendation by state officials that the bus-only lane be provided. The 104 and 109 bus routes carry about half of those traveling along Broadway during morning rush hour.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.