Case Study: Warsaw’s bus priority Lane Context To reduce traffic problems in Warsaw and make travelling by public transport easier, the city began looking for new solutions to improve lo-cal traffic conditions. In 2009, the city selected a main traffic corridor connecting the east and central districts as the focus for improvement. This was due to rising traffic numbers and in- creasing congestion along this route, especially during peak hours, which affected the ability of public transport services to operate efficiently. In action As result, in September 2009 the city introduced a new bus priority lane. At the time, this was the longest bus lane in Warsaw, stretching 7 km in each direction. The bus lane covers the Trasa Łazienkowska area, which includes one of the city’s main three-lane artery roads, crosses the river Vistula and connects the city centre to the eastern edge. Now one of the three lanes in both directions of the Trasa Łazienkowska is a dedicated bus lane, and car traffic is restricted, by a combination of road signs and road markings. After its installation, only buses could initial-ly use the lane. However, 3 weeks later the city allowed licensed taxis to use the lane. To ease the congestion that inevitably occurred in the remaining two lanes, the city introduced two new bus services. The frequency of existing bus services using the route increased and encour-aged more people to use public transport. Results Warsaw experienced strong resistance from car drivers when introducing the bus lane. However, it has strong support from public trans-port passengers. Over time, some drivers saw the benefits and are now public transport users themselves. Following an evaluation of the im- pacts of the bus lanes in November 2009, the most important benefits include: • The number of bus travelers has significantly increased during all times of the day; • The average speed of buses in both directions has increased (19% faster to the east city edge and 30% faster to city centre, with an average of 26 km/h in both directions, rising from an av-erage 10km/h before the bus lane was imple-mented; Other advantages include more punctual public transport services, a better image of public transport among locals, faster response times for emergency vehicles, and improved trafficsafety.
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