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Transportation

To Build a Better Bus Lane, Just Paint It

“Red carpet” bus lanes can be a cheap, fast, and effective way to smooth commutes for public transit users and drivers alike.
But mostly buses.
But mostly buses.SFMTA

Trains have tracks, while buses share roads. And since trains don’t have to dodge cars, avoid potholes, or slog through rush-hour congestion, they tend to arrive more reliably than their rubber-tired counterparts, which are slow, late, and unpredictable in many U.S. cities largely (though not solely) due to other vehicles.   

That’s why city leaders looking to pull commuters out of their cars and onto public transit should put the bus first and apologize later, urges a new report from UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies. The name of the game is “tactical transit lanes”—also known as dedicated bus lanes. The report serves as a how-to guide for whipping up bus-only infrastructure on the cheap, and reaping outsize benefits.