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Tactical Transit Lanes Offer Big Bang for the Buck

The bus lanes can be installed quickly, requiring minimal time and resources and offering a good return on investment, says a new report.
March 8, 2019, 7am PST | Camille Fink
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Laura Bliss reports on a new UCLA report that looks at "tactical transit lanes" in cities across the country. TTLs are dedicated bus lanes that are cheap and easy to install, often only requiring some paint or cones to separate the lane from other traffic.

"Based on interviews and surveys of dozens of city planners, [UCLA researchers] found that TTLs are often much shorter than BRT—less than a mile long, in many cases—and targeted to dense commuter corridors rather than being spread across entire regions," writes Bliss.

Some cities have put the lanes in as temporary, pilot projects to gauge their effectiveness and to garner public support. Outcome measures have shown decreased bus travel times, increased reliability, and improved traffic safety.

Enforcement is essential to the success of TTLs and cities need to get federal approval when necessary, notes Bliss. "But according to the report, even if they’re short, cheap, and a little DIY, dedicated lanes can also do a lot to smooth commutes, and brighten opinions about buses as they do."

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Published on Friday, March 1, 2019 in CityLab
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