A bird's eye view of a dedicated bus lane in action. We're moving nearly 70 buses an hour through the Flower Street bus lane each evening! pic.twitter.com/funsVVdX81
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) July 23, 2019
A Metro staff report shows the Flower Street bus lane in downtown Los Angeles decreased bus travel times by up to 20 percent and helped keep buses on schedule.
Metro staff are planning to continue the bus lane for another five months to test the lane under regular conditions. The lane has proved popular with riders, many of whom said it speeded up trips.
The Blue Line is fully reopening on November 2, so Metro won’t be running as many extra bus shuttles although some express bus service between downtown Long Beach and downtown L.A. will continue (please see this post). It’s a good chance for Metro to see how the bus lane continues to perform.
Below are some slides from a staff presentation:
Two other nuggets of interestingness from the staff report:
•Around 1,300 customers and over 100 bus operators were surveyed last month. Both customers and bus operators overwhelmingly reported greater perceived travel time savings than actual, meaning public perception was positive.
- About one-thirds of customers perceived the bus only lane saving up to five minutes in their travel time.
- Approximately one-thirds of customers indicated travel time savings over five minutes.
- Three quarters of customers surveyed believed the bus only lane improved reliability. Nearly identical results were received from bus operators.
•Metro also learned some lessons. For example, Metro found that running 80 buses an hour — which we did at the height of the Blue and Expo Line closures this summer — saturated the bus lane and slowed things down. We also found that bus stop locations need to be strategically located to keep bus and car traffic (cars can use the lane for right-hand turns) from backing up.
Bus lanes are few and far between in our region. Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan — our strategic plan for the next decade — calls for more bus lanes as a way to speed up transit and make it more appealing.
What do you think riders? What were your experiences with the bus lane?