By: Sharon Aron Baron
Busses will get priority when traveling north on SR-7 and 441 near Prospect Road in what will be the first of its kind in Broward County.
In a pilot program being launched for testing on Wednesday, September 10 during morning and afternoon rush hours, buses will be able to jump ahead of waiting vehicles while going through what appear to be red lights. Busses will get a special green traffic light that will move them through the intersection faster and improve traffic flow for motorists.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in coordination with Broward County Transit (BCT), and Broward County Traffic Engineering, will begin testing the Bus Only traffic signals at the Fort Lauderdale/North Lauderdale/Tamarac boundary Wednesday, September 10th.
Here’s how the signal works
A limited number of northbound, BCT 441 Breeze route buses have been outfitted with a special transponder that will activate the Bus Only signal as they approach the intersection. When activated the Bus Only signal will turn all other signals in the intersection to red except the northbound right turn lane and the Bus Only signal, which will show green for a brief period. The northbound buses will use the right turn only lane at Prospect Road to pass the line of vehicles waiting at the red light, go through the intersection and continue their northbound travel. Vehicles in the right turn only lane will also be able to proceed and make their right turn. When the bus has cleared, the signals will return to their normal cycling. Law enforcement will be on hand to direct traffic should there be any motorist confusion as buses proceed through the Bus Only green light.
Signal test dates/times
•Wednesday, September 10th during the morning peak traffic hours of 6:45 to 9:15AM.
•Thursday, September 11th during afternoon peak travel hours of 3:45 to 6:15PM.
•Tuesday September 16th during the morning peak traffic hours of 6:45 to 9:15AM.
•Wednesday September 17th during afternoon peak traffic hours of 3:45 to 6:15PM.
•If needed, additional runs will be conducted on Thursday, September 18th.
During these times the buses will operate on their fixed route, traveling through the signal a minimum of five runs at 30-minute frequencies. The bus travel times will be recorded during the test runs. Once all testing is completed, analysis of the data is expected to take two to three weeks. The information will be used to decide whether or not to continue using the signal at that location.
There are no plans at this time to add additional Bus Only Traffic signals at other intersections in the County.