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Study Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility, needed infrastructure improvements, and potential operating policies for bus lanes within the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) fixed route service area. The study considered bus only lanes, shared bus/parking lanes and shared bus/bike lanes in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and other transit corridors in CDTA’s service area. CDTA and the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) jointly managed the study.

The objectives of the Study were to:

  • Increase speeds and decrease travel times of bus operations

  • Reduce operating costs

  • Improve CDTA’s performance relative to driving and motor vehicle travel

  • Reduce impact of mixed traffic on buses

  • Increase transit reliability and on-time performance

  • Improve transit rider experience

  • Reduce regional single occupant vehicle use

Considerations during the Study included the impact of bus only and shared bus lanes on motor vehicle traffic, bicycles, pedestrians, delivery vehicles, transportation system operations and on-street parking.

Study Background

CDTC adopted New Visions 2050, its regional transportation plan, in September 2020. Related to transit, New Visions states that the region will pursue innovative and viable transportation services that support concentrated development and provide equitable access to reliable, sustainable and affordable transportation.

New Visions incorporates CDTA’s Transit Development Plan (TDP), adopted in 2014. The TDP is CDTA’s strategic plan, outlining the effective use of resources to increase transit ridership through improved service, infrastructure and customer outreach. A top priority in the TDP is the implementation of 40 miles of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), known locally as BusPlus.

This Bus Lane Feasibility Study is a recommendation of both New Visions 2050 and CDTA’s TDP. Over the last 20+ years, there have been conceptual assessments of bus lanes in the region but with the exception of the Purple Line busway, bus lanes have only been implemented as part of traffic signal queue jumpers. CDTC and CDTA expect this study to take the lessons learned from past planning efforts, combined with today’s design approaches to plan for a network of transit supportive streets in CDTA’s service area.

Work conducted in this study included data analysis to identify bus lane candidate locations, a public education and participation program, visual display of bus lane street layouts and an in-depth conceptual analysis of the potential impact of bus only and shared bus lanes. This work supported future preliminary engineering and detailed design of capital improvements and signalization adjustments.

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  Image for illustrative purposes only  

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