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Demonstration and evaluation of an intermittent bus lane strategy


The innovative concept of intermittent bus lanes may lead to an important increase of bus system performance while limiting the reduction of the capacity devoted to general traffic. The main idea is that a general traffic lane can be intermittently converted to an exclusive bus lane. Frequently studied by analytical papers, practical demonstrations of the intermittent bus lane strategy are not numerous. Especially, the results of the two previous field tests are very specific to the test sites and are hardly transposable. This paper tries to fill this gap by proposing the results and the lessons learned of a new real-field demonstration in Lyon, France. After a detailed presentation of the 350-m case study, effects of an intermittent bus lane strategy on traffic conditions are evaluated. Then, analyses of the impacts on the bus systems performance are carefully performed and also compared to more classical bus operations: a transit signal priority strategy. The results show that an intermittent bus lane can be a promising strategy especially when it is combined with transit signal priority. The median travel time of the buses is significantly reduced whereas the regularity of the line increases.

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The authors are grateful to the Metropole de Lyon (Mr. Pierre Soulard and his team) for their energy to experiment such an innovative solution. We also thank them for all the support in the data collection. This project is partly supported by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 646592 – MAGnUM project). An earlier version of this paper was presented at TRB: http://amonline.trb.org/18-00028-1.3991208?qr=1

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Correspondence to Nicolas Chiabaut.

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Chiabaut, N., Barcet, A. Demonstration and evaluation of an intermittent bus lane strategy. Public Transp 11, 443–456 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12469-019-00210-3

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  • Intermittent bus lane
  • Traffic management
  • Transit signal priority
  • Experimentation