Eric Burkman, AICP, is the MBTA’s Director of Transit Priority, who will be supporting the agency in engaging municipalities and improving bus transit priority across the system. Eric is leading a new Transit Priority Team focused on street infrastructure changes (bus lanes, queue jumps, signal operations, bus-on-shoulder, etc.) that improve bus operations. His team will increase the agency’s capacity to foster and build partnerships with municipalities and peer agencies, and will improve bus operations to make bus services more competitive – especially as congestion continues to worsen in the Boston region. Furthermore, he will launch an effort to build a new Bus Speed and Reliability Toolkit by engaging internal and external stakeholders in identifying traffic engineering, design, and other solutions for common bus delay problems. Over the coming months, he will build a new team to support these efforts, which will include municipal coordination and traffic systems analyst positions.
Eric was previously the Lynn District Service Planner for bus service throughout many of Boston’s North Shore communities. As the Lynn District Service Planner, Eric helped with implementation of the agency’s recent service plan, the Better Bus Project. As part of this project, Service Planners held monthly listening sessions with front-line operations staff, including Bus Operators, Inspectors, Supervisors, and Operations Control Center staff. Listening to these key stakeholders was an important part of successful service plan implementation, because they often witnessed issues first-hand that were unknown to, or otherwise unrealized by, planning and other administrative staff.
Eric began his transit career in bus operations at University of Michigan, starting as a bus operator and working his way up to operations supervisor. After getting a Master of Urban Planning degree from University of Michigan, he came to Boston for a job with the US DOT Volpe Center, where he worked extensively with transit systems in National Parks. He soon realized that MBTA was a pretty cool place and joined the Service Planning department in January 2018. He’s excited to work on projects that help move buses faster through Boston’s notoriously congested traffic, including dedicated bus lanes, stop relocations, transit signal priority, and more!