© 2019 by McMahon Associates, Inc.

MBTA Bus Stop Accessibility Improvements


Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Greater Boston


New England




  • Sandra Clarey

  • Transit

  • GIS & Technology

  • Bus Stop Planning & Design

  • Bus Stop Accessibility Auditing

  • Data Collection

  • Database Design For Mobile Devices

  • GIS Integration

  • Asset Management

  • Cost Estimating

  • Curb Extension Design

  • Preliminary & Final Design

  • ADA Curb Ramp Design

  • Construction Phase Services

McMahon was engaged by the MBTA to audit and design improvements to select bus stops across their system, with a focus on ADA and MBTA accessibility requirements.

A desktop assessment of priority bus stops (i.e. stops with high ridership, in proximity to special facilities and/or with known deficiencies or accessibility-related issues) was conducted to gather initial information on the each stop and select stops for a detailed accessibility field audit.

Field data, sketches and photos were collected on a tablet, and linked to each stop, using McMahon’s web- and GIS-based asset management software tool - TRAISR. Accessibility-related elements audited included the landing area, path of travel, curb ramps and amenities. Other general information about the bus stop and its surrounding environment was also gathered. Based on identified deficiencies and elements that required upgrading, McMahon developed provisional cost estimates to improve access to each stop.

A prioritization effort to select bus stops with the most critical barriers or egregious accessibility deficiencies was undertaken. McMahon prepared preliminary design plans for accessibility improvements at 50 priority bus stops in nine municipalities, and we are now finalizing design plans at 25 of these locations. Designs include upgraded sidewalks and an extensive number of new or reconstructed curb ramps. McMahon will assist in the preparation of bid documents and provision of construction phase services.

In parallel with this project the MBTA requested that McMahon develop preliminary design plans for bus stop accessibility improvement and elimination plans for 25 stops in South Boston, including curb extensions and shelters at 10 of these stops. We also performed detailed audits on an additional 70 bus stops, identified as “critical” stops during MBTA’s Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure (PATI) project, and we are currently designing access improvements for about 40 of these severely deficient stops.


  • Identify accessibility issues at select bus stops

  • Expeditious data collection over a large geographic area

  • Develop design solutions to improve accessibility