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32 The intent of the freeway transit lane demonstration project The use of the BBS is limited to those bus operators who is to gain local operational experience with the conversion of are authorized by the MTO. Currently, only GO Transit and the existing shoulder lanes to transit lanes during the peak Mississauga Transit (each referred to herein as a "Bus periods. In turn, this operational experience would help define Operator") are authorized to use the BBS on Highway 403. the physical elements required to successfully operate freeway Additional bus operators may be permitted in the future. As transit-only lanes in other freeway corridors where existing additional bus operators are authorized to use the designated express services and future BRT services will operate. The shoulders, the Ministry will notify local Ontario Provincial demonstration project will address five key objectives: Police (OPP) detachments and the transit operators that are already authorized to use the BBS. Safety--Is there any change in accident rates with buses using the transit-only lanes, and do CHP officers Each Bus Operator must ensure that all bus drivers who will and Caltrans maintenance crews experience safety- use the BBS have received a copy of the Operating Protocol, related problems? have been provided with training concerning the use of the Bus Travel Time and Reliability--Do buses experience BBS, and have agreed to the conditions of operating a bus in a measurable and repeatable travel time savings and the BBS as outlined in this Protocol in the following bulleted enhanced trip reliability (on-time performance)? list. GO Transit provides the required training services to all Bus and Automobile Driver and Bus Passenger Percep- Bus Operators using the BBS on a cost-recovery basis. The tion--Do bus drivers feel safe using the transit-only Bus Operators are responsible for monitoring the operations of lanes and are automobile drivers comfortable with buses their drivers and vehicles to ensure compliance to the protocol. merging in and out of the transit-only lanes; also, do transit riders perceive improved travel time and trip re- Bus operators must provide regular, scheduled service liability and do they feel safe with the bus operating in available to the public. the transit-only lane? Only 40- to 60-ft buses and articulated transit buses will Maintenance--Is there any reduction in freeway levels be permitted to use the BBS. of service from the transit-only lanes, and is there an in- Buses must have radio or telephone contact with the Bus creased level of maintenance required? Operator's central dispatcher to report blocked shoulders What kinds of physical improvements to shoulder lanes or other emergency situations involving the shoulder. would be required if this concept were to be imple- Bus Operators using the BBS must have a Commercial mented permanently? Vehicle Operator's Registration certificate, and must have a Carrier Safety Rating of either excellent or sat- The year-long demonstration period will test how the isfactory. The Ministry's Central Region designated transit lanes operate. A monitoring program will assess the contact must be provided with proof of this rate. expected versus actual effects of the transit-only lane. A fi- Bus Operator's supervisory and driver staff must complete nal report following the demonstration period will be used to Manager and Driver Training as provided by GO Transit determine whether to make the freeway transit lane perma- before commencing operations. The BBS Training Pre- nent and if and how the concept could be applied to other sentation for bus drivers is described in Appendix C. The freeway corridors. Assuming the design studies judge the curriculum includes: demonstration feasible, the physical improvements neces- Purpose of BBS; sary would be implemented and operation of the demonstra- Review of BBS layout, signs, and markings; tion could begin within 12 to 15 months. Operating speed restrictions; Safe merging; BBS access and egress; and CASE STUDY 5--TORONTO, ONTARIO Emergency procedures. The Central Region of the Ministry of Transportation (the After completion of training, each supervisor and bus "Ministry" or MTO) initiated and evaluated the use of the driver must sign an acknowledgment form indicating that right shoulder of Highway 403 between Erin Mills Parkway they have been trained and will abide by the rules of this and Mavis Road by authorized transit operators. Designated Operating Protocol. The Bus Operator must retain a copy of shoulders for use as a BBS appear similar to and still operate each signed form for the MTO's review. like any other freeway shoulder; however, authorized transit operators are permitted to use the shoulder in designated ar- Before commencing operations, the Bus Operator must eas to bypass congestion. sign the BBS Operating Protocol. Each signatory must have the authority to bind his or her corporation. Criteria for Eligibility Buses using the BBS must have radio or telephone contact with their central dispatcher to report blocked shoulders or Operating protocols that were adopted for implementation of other emergency situations. Any information reported to their the BBS in the fall of 2003 are reported in this case study. central dispatcher must be passed along by the dispatcher to

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33 the respective emergency service (e.g., police, fire, or ambu- passengers. Bus drivers will only use the BBS when traffic lance) and to MTO COMPASS Operations, Downsview. in the GPL is moving at speeds less than or equal to 60 km/h (35 mph). While using the BBS, bus speed shall not exceed 60 km/h. When the general purpose traffic on Highway Operating Partners 403 is in a stop-and-go mode, buses are to travel no more The Operating Partners to this Operating Protocol are the than 20 km/h faster than the general purpose flow of traffic. MTO, Mississauga Transit, GO Transit, and the Ontario Bus drivers must adhere to these speed limits; failure to do Provincial Police. so can result in the Ministry canceling the Operating Proto- col for Bus Operators with repeat violations. Design Collisions The Highway 403 BBS extends on the right shoulder be- tween Erin Mills Parkway and Mavis Road, in both direc- In the event of a collision in or adjacent to the BBS, the Bus tions (Figure 25). A bus pass-through connection is provided Operator's Central Dispatch must notify the appropriate at the Erin Mills Parkway northbound to the Highway 403 emergency service either by calling 911 or the OPP. The Bus eastbound ramp. The BBS is 3.75 m (12.3 ft) wide, with rum- Operator's Central Dispatch must then contact MTO COM- ble strips dividing the shoulder from the GPLs. PASS Operations, Downsview, as soon as possible. Signing and Pavement Markings Obstruction of the Bus Bypass Shoulder The BBS is clearly marked with signs approximately every During winter months the BBS may be temporarily blocked 200 to 300 m along its entire length to inform motorists by snow. Bus drivers are responsible for exercising their best that the right shoulder has been designated for use by au- judgment in determining if they can safely use the BBS un- thorized bus operators (see Figure 26). The solid white der these conditions. edge line between the GPLs and the shoulder is 20 cm wide rather than the normal 10 cm wide. If the shoulder is obstructed in any way; for example, by a collision, vehicle breakdown, or debris, the bus driver must Bus drivers must exercise their best judgment in consid- reenter the GPL to avoid the obstruction. Buses must yield to ering the safety of other motorists, as well as that of the bus other vehicles when reentering the GPL. EMTC Eglinton Ave. Winston Churchill Erin Mills Pkwy. CVH Hurontario St. Mavis Rd. Credit River Blvd. Highway 403 Eastgate Pkwy. Cawthra Rd. Centre View Dr. Rathburn Rd. Square One FIGURE 25 BBS on Highway 403.

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34 The BBS may also be used for the duration of any prolonged congestion event outside of peak period hours, provided the speed of the general traffic is 60 km/h or less. Enforcement The police provided a higher level of enforcement services during the initial weeks of the BBS operation to ensure its safe and effective operation. The police provided a minimum of six peak hour enforcement periods per week for the first 2 weeks of the initial opening of the BBS, and a minimum of eight peak hour enforcement periods for the next 4 weeks of operation. Following the initial 6 weeks of higher enforcement lev- els, enforcement was reduced and provided when necessary and resources are available. MTO provides enforcement sites within the facility. Facility Maintenance The MTO is attempting to provide the same level of mainte- nance for the BBS as provided for the GPL on Highway 403 through this area. However, owing to the nature of the shoul- der configuration, it is not always possible to fully clear the shoulder as quickly as the GPL. On these occasions, bus oper- ators must use the GPL until the shoulders are fully cleared. The design of the enforcement sites makes removal of FIGURE 26 Signage marking along the snow difficult. For this reason, winter maintenance of the en- Highway 403 BBS forcement sites is not feasible. Bus drivers are to notify their central dispatch of an ob- Access and Egress to the Bus Bypass Shoulder struction on the shoulder and central dispatch will in turn no- tify all buses that are using the BBS of the obstruction, plus General inform MTO COMPASS Operations. The BBS is not to be used until the obstruction is removed from the shoulder. As mentioned previously, buses only use the BBS when traf- fic in the GPLs is moving at speeds equal to or less than 60 If necessary, buses in the BBS should safely exit the km/h. When using the BBS, buses shall not exceed 60 km/h. shoulder to allow emergency vehicles to pass. If the shoulder When the GPL traffic on Highway 403 is in a stop-and-go is not blocked by the emergency, use of the BBS can resume mode, buses are to travel no more than 20 km/h faster than once the emergency vehicle has passed. the GPL flow of traffic. On occasion, the MTO or OPP may elect to use the BBS Once a bus has entered the BBS it shall not reenter the to detour general purpose traffic because of maintenance, GPL if the operating speed of that lane improves, but should construction, or collisions. Except for emergency situations, continue to the end of the BBS to minimize potential con- the MTO will provide the Bus Operators with as much notice flicts with GPL traffic. as possible and at least 24 h notice. Eastbound Times of Use and Hours of Operation When the operating speed of Highway 403 is less than or The BBS is to be used for congestion bypass purposes only. equal to 60 km/h before the ramp exit at Erin Mills Park- Typically, the BBS will be used on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. way, buses should exit at the Parkway and enter the BBS to 10:00 a.m. in the eastbound direction and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 from the dedicated bus ramp connection at the Parkway in- p.m. in the westbound direction. The BBS is generally not to terchange. When exiting eastbound Highway 403 at Erin be used on weekends unless an incident or event has resulted Mills Parkway, buses must access the dedicated bus ramp in the GPL operating at a speed less than 60 km/h. connection from the center lane of the ramp.

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35 When Highway 403 traffic is operating at speeds of When the BBS is in use, buses that are southbound on greater than 60 km/h at Erin Mills Parkway, but the operat- Erin Mills Parkway will access the dedicated bus ramp con- ing speeds decrease beyond the Parkway interchange, buses nection from the southbound bus-only left-turn lane. The are permitted to enter the BBS at any location beyond the end southbound approach has a traffic signal that will give left- of the speed change lane taper for the on-ramp from north- turning buses added priority (Figure 27). bound Erin Mills Parkway. As stated previously, once in the BBS, buses are to remain there until they either exit at Mavis Buses that are not exiting Highway 403 at the Mavis Road Road or merge with the GPL traffic at the end of the BBS. interchange will merge safely with GPL traffic before the FIGURE 27 Bus movements: Erin Mills Parkway southbound to 403 BBS eastbound. Buses southbound on Erin Mills Parkway will access the dedicated bus ramp connection from the southbound bus-only left-turn lane. The large solid arrow on the diagram illustrates this movement.