Transit buses permitted on Wake Co. shoulders beginning Monday - WSPA.com

Transit buses permitted on Wake Co. shoulders beginning Monday

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As part of the Bus on the Shoulder System, buses in Wake County will be able to use the shoulder of designated highways. As part of the Bus on the Shoulder System, buses in Wake County will be able to use the shoulder of designated highways.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Starting Monday, drivers in Wake County may be caught off-guard by buses driving on the shoulders of highways as a means to ease congestion.

Bus drivers will be allowed on the shoulder of designed stretches of highways when speeds fall below 35 miles per hour.

As part of the Bus on the Shoulder System, buses in Wake County will be able to use the shoulder of Interstate 40 West and Wade Ave. between Blue Ridge Road and the Durham Freeway and on I-40 East and Wade Avenue between Page Road in Durham County and Blue Ridge Road. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation ran a pilot program for nine months in Durham County, and says there were no reports of accidents or complaints.

Triangle Transit buses have made about 700 trips on the shoulder without any incidents. When traveling on the shoulder, buses are not allowed to go more than 15 mph faster than traffic in the travel lanes, and cannot exceed 35 mph.

"They're given discretion. If they don't feel like using it at a certain point in time, they don't have to do so," said John Tallmadge, with Triangle Transit. "We prepare them, but they still have discretion based on the conditions out there."

Bus drivers are told to get out of the shoulder if there are any emergency vehicles there or any obstructions.

Drivers are asked not to follow buses that are riding in a shoulder because it is still illegal for normal vehicles to drive to drive there.

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