In Boston, transit infrastructure is about much more than delivering people from here to there — it’s about delivering the freedom to explore, to participate in the economy, and to take advantage of everything a world-class city has to offer.

A Better City brings vision and expertise to the task of imagining, creating and managing a truly superior transit infrastructure for Greater Boston and Massachusetts.

Crosstown Transit

A Better City has been a leading advocate for crosstown transit in the corridor encircling the urban core since 1993. As the chairs of the Citizens Advisory Committee and other organizations, our principals have helped to guide the analysis of transportation improvements in the corridor. Our work has included the Silver Line Extension to Chelsea and other Bus Rapid Transit improvements that will connect people to jobs and provide links between activity centers in the urban core. 

Why It’s Important

Fast and efficient transit throughout the city not only improves economic vitality and business opportunity but makes Boston a more desirable place to live and work. Transit improvements in this corridor will relieve congestion in the central subway system and connect major employment centers.

A Better City’s Role

Currently, A Better City is collaborating with the Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO) to develop a strategy for advancing projects that will help to meet transportation needs in key segments of the corridor, including the Longwood Medical Area.

MBTA Regional Core Economic Study

In March 2016, A Better City began a six-month study of the impact of the MBTA on the regional and state economy. The study will examine the economic importance of Boston as the regional core of the state, identify areas for growth, and recommend transit investments and other policies needed to support sustainable and equitable growth. 

Why It’s Important

Successful and efficient operation of the MBTA’s system of buses, subways, commuter rail and ferries is critical to the region’s economy as well as the quality of life in Greater Boston and Massachusetts. This study will clearly demonstrate the link between an effective public transportation system and the success of the regional core as a driver of the state’s economy.

A Better City’s Role

Following the model of a statewide study completed in 2013, the study will estimate the “cost of doing nothing” by allowing MBTA conditions to deteriorate, and the “benefits of doing something” by investing in the system. A Better City will lead a panel discussion of the findings of this study in September 2016. This study is funded jointly by the Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation

Public Realm Planning Study

Go Boston 2030 is a city initiative to develop a bold and far-reaching future for Boston’s transportation systems, with policies and projects to improve transit for the city’s residents, businesses and visitors. The Public Realm Planning Study, part of the Go Boston 2030 effort, will identify ways that transportation can support placemaking initiatives.

Why It’s Important

At a time when people lead increasingly separate lives, public realm projects invite them to interact, get to know each other, and share ideas and experiences. The study will document and celebrate local projects and recommend steps to facilitate placemaking initiatives.

A Better City’s Role

A Better City and its consultant team, Stantec’s Urban Group, are working closely with the staff from Boston Transportation Department that is managing the Go Boston 2030 project. Our goal is to analyze the state of the public realm as it relates to transportation facilities, and to identify examples of best practices in “placemaking” around the world that can be adapted and used in Boston. Our team will develop “tactical urbanism” projects — low-cost, temporary changes to improve neighborhoods and gathering places — that can engage members of the community in short term events. We will also develop conceptual designs for permanent pilot projects in the city, and prepare implementation guidelines and governance strategies for placemaking projects that are related to transportation. This work is supported by a grant from the Barr Foundation and an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow working as A Better City staff.

Waterfront Planning

The South Boston Waterfront needs a modern transportation plan to meet the current and future demands of workers, businesses, and residents.  


The South Boston Waterfront is the strongest economic center in Massachusetts and will see over 15 million square feet of additional development in future years.  This section of the City of Boston is a classic case study in how investments in transportation infrastructure and smart land use policy can drive development.  


A Better City developed a comprehensive waterfront master plan in 2015. We are currently leading committees of stakeholders to implement the recommendations on this report.