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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effect of Bus lane Management Techniques on Operator Experience, Safety, and On-Time Performance


Bus-only lanes can speed up buses and improve reliability of service. In Los Angeles County, there are 27 miles of mixed-use bus lanes. These lanes are passively enforced through striping and signage but do not receive regular active enforcement. Due to this lack of active enforcement, most of the lanes in LA County have high vehicle intrusion rates. I analyze two bus lanes that have received vastly different enforcement practices to conduct a comparative case study of the effect of enforcement on bus lane operations. I examine the following question: how do different management strategies for bus-only lanes, entailing design solutions, passive enforcement and active enforcement affect the safety, security and on-time performance of LA Metro bus operations? I rely on four main data sources from LA Metro to conduct these case studies: internal reports on bus lane enforcement costs and practices, bus operator surveys I administered jointly with LA Metro, in-service on-time performance data, and incident reporting of roadway collisions of Metro buses. I find that bus lanes in Los Angeles largely improve roadway safety and bus performance, and even more so when there are robust management practices in place. This research report fills a critical gap in the literature by documenting and quantifying the effect of unenforced lanes on the safety of bus operations. †

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