A new report from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (Ala.) released Tuesday suggested that a rapid transit system might be the best option for reducing congestion on U.S. 280., with buses as the most viable alternative.
Two bus-based transit proposals are outlined in the report, which was part of a $900,000 study analyzing the stretch of U.S. 280 between downtown Birmingham and Alabama 119. The first is an express service that would feature managed lanes in the median, which could also be used by carpoolers or—through a toll—other drivers. The other option discussed is a bus rapid transit system that would have dedicated lanes on the shoulder.
The dedicated lanes present in both options would allow fewer stops and faster service, as buses would be separated from the regular traffic flow.
Early estimates suggest that implementing a bus-based transit system could reduce traffic on U.S. 280—which carries approximately 97,000 vehicles a day—by 10%.