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Upgrades to 77 bus route in the works

The MBTA is preparing to make improvements along a local portion of the 77 bus route , including installation of benches, trash receptacles, and four shelters for waiting riders. The work is expected to be completed by the end of next month, according to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials. The 77 bus, which travels along Massachusetts Avenue between Arlington Heights and Harvard Square in Cambridge, is one of 15 targeted by the MBTA for improvements using $10 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The upgrades will be completed between the Arlington Heights bus turnaround and Pond Lane, and will not include the area in East Arlington that is slated for reconstruction, according to the town. The new trash receptacles will include solar-powered compactors, officials said, and bus shelters will be installed on Mass. Ave. at Appleton Street, Quincy Street, Newman Way, and Lockland Avenue. Four other shelters will be installed as part of the separate project in East Arlington. Handicapped accessibility will also be improved, and new signs and pavement markings will be put in place. The T is also planning one change in the route, with stops at Pine Court and Robbins Road to be consolidated into a single new stop at Quincy Street.