Massachusetts is beginning a pilot program to allow buses to drive on the shoulder of Interstate 93 during specific times.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation advised travelers that the pilot program begins Monday.
Authorized bus drivers using I-93, between Interstate 95 in Woburn and the high-occupancy vehicle lane entrance in Somerville, can drive on highway shoulders during the week when traffic is traveling below below 35 miles per hour.
The buses may use the shoulders from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on I-93 southbound and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on I-93 northbound. Message boards along the bus lane corridor will be used to notify the public.
MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler said that implementing the pilot before the holiday season should encourage more people to consider public transportation as an efficient way to reach destinations, including Logan Airport.
The travel area is about 7 miles long in each direction. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority estimates that its Route 354 bus currently gets in traffic congestion for up to 20 minutes on I-93.
MBTA, Regional Transit Authority and Logan Express buses will be allowed to use the shoulder.