If you find yourself sitting in traffic along a specific stretch of I40 later this summer, don’t be too alarmed if you see a bright green Triangle Transit bus use the shoulder to pass you. That’s because North Carolina’s first Buses on Shoulders System (BOSS) debuts July 16.
Similar to programs in ten other states, BOSS allows specially trained bus drivers the option to travel on the shoulder when traffic has slowed to 35 mph or less. Bus drivers are not permitted to go more than 15 mph faster than the traffic they’re passing and can never go faster than 35 mph when on the shoulder.
The BOSS program will involve four Triangle Transit routes— the CRX, 800, 700, and Shuttle 42.
This is the latest offering to make transit more accessible and valuable to commuters in the Triangle. A regional real-time bus arrival system, GoLive, was introduced in October 2011. Another popular feature? Free Wi-Fi. Most Triangle Transit buses are equipped to let passengers browse online while riding to their destination.
It’s important to note that for Triangle Transit’s trained bus drivers, BOSS is an option, not a requirement. Safety, as always, is priority and it’s up to the bus driver to determine if conditions will allow use of the shoulder to bypass congestion. Additionally, buses must yield to emergency and disabled vehicles on the shoulder. Officials will monitor the pilot area closely and will remove obstacles quickly.
More information about the program can be found on Triangle Transit’s BOSS page. What do you think? Does the option of being able to bypass traffic make you more likely to try a bus?