Caught (up) in traffic

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On priority lanes for public transport

August 2021


I am currently part of an International Research Group (IRG) involved in studies on bus priority. Yesterday, we had a meeting where one professor mentioned the importance of being able to clearly explain the advantages of having priority lanes for buses in order to improve their performance (i.e., number of passengers transported and improved travel times). There was a lively discussion about how the perception is for bike lanes while transit lanes have also been implemented for a long time now though with mixed results.

There are very familiar arguments vs. taking lanes away from cars or private motor vehicles and allocating them for exclusive use of public transport and bicycles. It may sound cliche but ‘moving people and not just cars’ is perhaps the simplest argument for priority lanes.

EDSA carousel buses lining up towards a station

Bike lane along Katipunan Avenue – is this a temporary thing? a fad because traffic is really not back to the old normal? Katipunan is infamous for being congested with cars generated by major trip generators in the area such as schools/universities and commercial establishments.

The bike lane along Commonwealth Avenue proves there’s just too much space for private motor vehicles. And with the Line 7 in the horizon, perhaps more lanes can be taken and made exclusive to road public transport. [Photo credit: Cenon Esguerra]


  1. Villarete Nigel Paul Calo says:

    while i fully agree with the intention, i often refrain from the terms “lanes can be taken away (with or without ‘from car use’)” and turned into lanes for public transport, because it usually invites criticisms from car owners/users (which includes us, too, usually). i prefer the more “general” and “sterile” phrase “enlarge the capacity of the lanes” from 2,000 pphpd to 8,000 (bus) or 12,000++ pphpd (BRT) because nobody may argue against that. thus we are not “taking away,” but instead, we are upgrading the lanes’ capacity.

    he he he, just a comment from someone who was at the brunt of criticism before ….

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