Philly Testing New Approach to Bus Priority

Philadelphia planners hope to achieve benefits to traffic safety and transit performance by restricting automobile use of lanes along Roosevelt Boulevard.

November 19, 2019, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


SEPTA Direct Bus

A SEPTA Direct Bus stop on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia, pictured in 2018. | Dough4872 / Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia is launching a new BAT (business access and transit) lane scheme for a bus route along Roosevelt Boulevard, reports Darryl C. Murphy.

BAT, which stands for business access and transit, is a new-to-Philly breed of lane that prioritizes buses, and lets cars flow into only to make right turns at intersections or businesses. Never before tried on a major road in Philadelphia, the city is now advancing a plan to test BAT lanes on the Boulevard, the most dangerous road in the city and one of the deadliest in the region. 

The pilot BAT lane is intended to both speed up bus service along the street but also improve safety. The project is funded by the city's "Routes for Change" project.

As noted by Murphy, the BAT lane idea is a watered down version of bus priority projects implemented recently in New York City and approved recently by San Francisco.

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