This weekly post features news from other transit agencies and planners from around the world. Did we miss a good story? Let us know in the comments.
SFMTA launches Transit Effectiveness Project
The San Francisco agency that runs its network of buses and light rail is holding a series of meetings to introduce the public to its recently-launched Transit Effectiveness Project. The program is designed “to improve reliability and provide quicker trips for Muni customers,” according to the project website. The program in particular seeks to develop a Rapid Muni network — sounds familiar — along the busiest transit corridors in San Francisco. The proposal seems to draw a healthy amount of inspiration from Metro’s own Rapid bus program, which is now going on 12 years. A rundown of proposed changes would speed up buses by reducing sources of delay. Those changes include features that should be a real boon to the transit-riding public, namely: “adding sidewalk extensions and boarding islands; replacing stop signs with traffic signals or other measures; transit stop changes including moving stops, eliminating stops, and adding new stops; traffic engineering changes such as adding turn lanes, turn restrictions, and transit-only lanes; and pedestrian improvements such as curb extensions and other crosswalk treatments.”
Dramatic changes on London streets in the congestion pricing era
Since London implemented congestion pricing in the city center — a policy that requires drivers to pay a fee to offset the cost of delays they cause to others — Londoners have responded with some pretty remarkable travel shifts. A DC Streetsblog analysis of the data found that people are switching to transit and bicycling in big numbers. The latter is up 110 percent since the congestion fee was put into place, and transit riders have benefited from having congestion fee revenues plowed into service enhancements. Streetsblog also has some excellent visualizations of where the greatest decreases in driving have occurred; head over there for the fun maps.
Alameda–Contra Costa Transit approves bus rapid transit project in Oakland and San Leandro
A long-in-the-works BRT project on the East Bay is finally moving forward, reports the Silicon Valley Mercury News. The $153-million project seeks to speed up transit trips along a key travel corridor between Oakland and San Leandro using “dedicated lanes, signal priority, and prominent stations with convenient boarding” to avoid congestion and reduce delays, according to an AC Transit press release. Berkeley had originally been considered in the segment with BRT-related street improvements, but backed out after merchants protested losing street parking.
Bus-only lanes for Chicago’s buses coming soon
Because there usually isn’t enough BRT news, here’s one more from the Windy City. The city’s transit agency, CTA, is considering a number of different options for implementing a series of bus-only lanes and protected bike lanes on some busy travel corridors going into and around downtown — particularly near Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center, reports the Chicago Sun. Because many bus lines converge in this corridor, buses will be passing through as often as every two minutes during peak hours. If all goes smoothly, construction on the BRT project could begin in 2014. The different alternatives were presented to the community last night for input, and transportation blog Grid Chicago has a recap from the meeting here.