Bus Lane with Intermittent Priority

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Bus Lane with Intermittent Priority

Carey, G., Bauer, T., & Giese, K. (2009). Bus Lane with Intermittent Priority (BLIMP) Concept Simulation Analysis, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration

BLIMP can be applied to roads with non-separated bus or tram lanes and limited road capacity. Authorities who are applying the concept should make the road design intuitive by utilizing recognizable component and procedures. The sensors placed under the road, the markings on the road and the signs above the lane are essential parts of the system. The system shows improvements of the transit travel times and reliability when compared to normal roads, but does not have the same effects as an exclusive transit lane. The lane has a minimal impact on intersection delay and overall delay and this is therefore a sufficient alternative for an exclusive transit lane. Research indicates that the benefits of the system apply to left- and right-lane BLIMP’s, but to eliminate friction a right-lane BLIMP is preferred. 

There are already two practical and one theoretical case studies on dynamic lanes. Several aspects should still be evaluated, these include traffic volumes, bus volumes, corridor length. When the system is applied intuitive road design and educational campaigns will help to the success of the system.

The BLIMP Bus Lane (Bus Lane with Intermittent Priority) is a dynamic bus lane. When a bus approaches, the bus lane markings will be activated in order to inform drivers to change lanes. After the bus departs the road section, the bus lane will be open to general traffic again.

The Bus Lane with Intermittent Priority (BLIMP) concept is an innovative transit lane with preferential treatment based on the concept of dynamic lane assignment. BLIMP is essentially a lane that turns into an exclusive lane for transit when a bus passes by a sensor located in front of the road section. Other road users are informed of this by marking on the road and dynamic signs. Per road section the BLIMP can be activated, allowing other road users to use the entire road capacity when possible and only getting them out of the lane when a bus enters a road section. Thereby, the bus/tram is allowed to pass the other traffic. The BLIMP has the advantage of more road capacity when compared to the exclusive transit lane, while still making transit travel times shorter and more reliable. In cities, where space is limited the system maximises the use of road capacity. The concept has been implemented in two locations, each with different objectives and parameters.

Infrastructure and vehicle
General concept
  • Large urban area
  • Metropolitan areas

  • Bus
  • Tram/corridors

Goal-oriented/efficient organization
  • Improve punctuality and reliability
  • Improve travelling time
  • Performance orientation

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