by Photo courtesy of Bus on Shoulder Pilot Program

The part-time Transit-Only Lane Demonstration Project has expanded along Interstate 805 and State Route 94 between National City and Downtown San Diego the San Diego Association of Governments announced Thursday.  

Starting Nov.14, South Bay Rapid 225 will begin using the dedicated part-time Transit Only Lane near the center median on westbound SR 94, from 30th street to Downtown San Diego. According to SANDAG, South Bay Rapid 225 buses will also begin entering the part-time Transit Only Lanes along the northbound I-805, from E Plaza Blvd to Imperial Ave. 

SANDAG, Caltrans, and Metropolitan Transit System announced the three-year program in June, which allows South Bay Rapid 225 buses to run on select freeway shoulders during peak travel times, helping bus drivers to bypass congestion. 

The buses are operated by specially trained drivers and equipped with driver assistance technology, including sensors, that monitor the lanes and provide audio and visual alerts to help operators avoid potential conflicts.

According to SANDAG, buses will only enter the part-time Transit-Only Lanes when the freeway is operating under 35 mph and will travel at a maximum speed of 35 mph on the shoulders. 

While the concept of a transit bus traveling on a highway shoulder has been implemented in 10 states nationwide, San Diego is the first in the nation to use transit vehicle-to-infrastructure technology that allows buses to communicate with freeway ramp meters, according to SANDAG. This technology collects data to analyze the effectiveness and safety of prioritizing existing shoulder infrastructure. 

Drivers who drive on shoulders will be subject to violation fees at a minimum of $401.

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