A bus drives alongside traffic in the newly-created bus lane on Lewes Boulevard the morning of Jan. 16. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Whitehorse bus lane pilot project a success: city

Even riders in Porter Creek noticed improvements, transit manager says

Whitehorse’s recent bus lane pilot project was a success, says the city’s transit manager.

From Jan. 15 to 19, a dedicated bus lane ran along Lewes Boulevard during the morning rush in Riverdale.

Eight city staff, including bylaw, engineers, and planners, were out talking to transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians, gathering information on the effects of the dedicated lane.

Transit manager Cheri Malo said feedback across the board was positive. Riverdale college students said they made it to class on time. Cyclists felt safer because they had a whole lane (Malo said the number of bikes increased from 18 to 23 over the course of the week). The city even heard from people in neighbourhoods it hadn’t considered.

“People out of Porter Creek said they were getting picked up on time,” said Malo. She said the city was so focussed on Riverdale traffic, it hadn’t fully considered that effect down the line.

And though the focus was on improving bus transit times, the city also received feedback from drivers. The majority said the bus lane didn’t speed things up for them, but also didn’t slow them down.

Malo said this feedback was supported by video footage taken during the bus lane project when compared with footage taken the week before.

“There was no change in flow,” said Malo.

The data from the bus lane pilot project will inform the city’s transit master plan, which comes before council in March.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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