Changing the location of bus stops could speed up traffic: McGill researcher
Montreal traffic could be sped up simply by having the STM move its bus stops, a McGill University researcher claims.
The placement of a bus stop on the far side of an intersection instead of the near side can have a big impact on regular traffic, explained Ahmed El-Geneidy of the McGill School of Urban Planning.
“There's no obstruction. (Cars) can take a right easily and they're not obstructing the bus, so you're not even delaying the bus more,” he explained.
Admittedly the delays aren't huge, he said.
“When you move it from this side to that side you will be saving around five seconds per stop, ” said El-Geneidy.
Those few seconds saved add up, though: With an average of 40 stops on a given bus route, minutes could be saved on every trip.
“We are talking about how many thousands of stops on the island of Montreal per day, a bus is doing? So, if you talk about converting these seconds to actual numbers and actual operations of how many seconds I'm losing per day, this can be a lot of money,” he said.
El-Geneidy said he looked at transit systems in other cities that back up his findings.
“This has been proven in Portland, Oregon, where they already have the priority light and when you have the priority lights and you're on the far side, you're saving even more,” said El-Geneidy, adding that San Francisco is now moving some of its bus stops to save time and money.
Don't expect changes any time soon, however.
The STM said its analyses show something different.
“We made operational analyses which show it's safer for passengers to have stops before the intersection and it's also easier for the bus to merge back into traffic,” the STM said in a statement.
The STM said, however, it would prefer a wider system of priority lights for buses to keep traffic moving.