Bus lane gets Uber fees

Reinstatement of last fall’s morning-commute bus lane in East Arlington will be funded by $25,813.30 collected from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Sign reading "No Stopping Bus Lane Monday - Friday 5AM-9AM

Town meeting appropriated the funds during the last night of Town meeting on May 15.

On February 25, the Select Board approved a plan to reinstate the a.m. bus-only lane permanently. The lane was tested for a month last October, along with other elements that the Town has already made permanent.

The funds come to Arlington under a new state law assessing a fee of $0.20 on every ride originating in Arlington. Half of the fee is available to the Town.

The law restricts these funds to transportation uses. The decision to apply these funds to the bus lane does not apply to funds available in future years.

Dedicated bus lane

The appropriation is likely to pay for road paint and permanent signage, and perhaps other aspects of the project such as public outreach about the changes.

The lane will operate from 6–9 a.m. on weekdays, on the south side of Mass. Ave. between Lafayette Street and Route 16. It will displace parking along the affected blocks, and incorporate the bicycle lane, during operation.

Motor vehicles will continue to have access to the same number of travel lanes at all times.

As I read the law and the calendar, these are the funds collected in 2017, the first year of the law’s operation, and probably delivered to the Town last summer or fall.

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