Bus Rapid Transit

To make transit a stronger alternative to driving, the project is implementing roadway and signal improvements and introducing a new Bus Rapid Transit service on the corridor. Bus Rapid Transit, commonly referred to as BRT, is high-quality bus-based transit system designed to be more reliable, convenient, faster, and more frequent than traditional bus service. BRT achieves high quality service because it avoids the delays that can typically slow regular bus service, like making numerous stops and getting stuck in traffic at intersections. BRT systems exist all over the world, including the local Flatiron Flyer service between Boulder and Denver.

In BRT systems, buses are given a degree of “priority” over the other travel modes so that the bus can jump ahead of general traffic, providing faster and more reliable transit service. At the onset of the project, a Traffic Alternatives Study evaluated potential methods for giving buses priority on the corridor. Following the analysis, the Study recommended implementing queue bypass lanes as the bus priority tool for the corridor. Queue bypass lanes, also referred to as queue jumps, are a popular BRT tool used all over the world. The Traffic Alternatives Study determined that implementing BRT service and queue bypass lanes will shorten bus travel times in the corridor by nearly 50%!

Queue bypass lanes are short, dedicated bus only lanes that will be implemented at key signalized intersections on the corridor (Jay Road, 63rd Street, Niwot Road, and Airport Road). When a bus approaches one of these intersections, it will pull into its dedicated bus only lane. The bus will receive a special traffic signal that allows it to proceed while the general traffic is still stopped at the red light. Because buses have the special traffic signal, they can get a head start, jump ahead of the traffic, and then merge back into the general traffic lanes.

Less fender benders and crashes  Vehicles can move through the corridor faster, with shorter wait times at traffic lights  Traveling the corridor by bus will take about half the time it currently does  More frequent bus service supports greater travel flexibility  Safer and more comfortable experience accessing the corridor on foot  Integration between Bus Rapid Transit, Park-n-Rides, pedestrian crossings, and Boulder County’s Commuter Bikeway enables commuters to switch travel modes safely and reliably

Image depicts how queue bypass lanes will function on the corridor.
(Click image to enlarge)

Video shows how queue bypass lanes work.