SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department Of Transportation is exploring using buses to try to cut down on traffic volume on Interstate 70.
Two donated Greyhound buses sat and waited for traffic on Sunday.
“The project is a pilot to try and test the proof of the concept if we could run buses on shoulders to bypass groups of congestion,” said Steve Hersey, a traffic and safety engineer with CDOT.
CDOT will try again over the next few weekends to get one bus stuck in traffic and have the other use the shoulder in patches from the Eisenhower Tunnel to Idaho Springs.
“We’re testing four segments. The segments are one to four miles long,” said Hersey.
At least 10 feet of shoulder space are necessary to fit the buses.
“We’ve got fairly narrow shoulders with guardrail in most locations. So we’re hoping to do it safely and number two we’re hoping to improve reliability of transit,” said Hersey.
What CDOT is looking for is the travel time data.
“Of course the buses can carry large numbers of people and get cars off the road. We are hoping to encourage more transit use along the corridor whether that’s many buses I don’t know,” said Hersey.
If the buses pass this test, it may not be long before they are seen frequently skipping the slow and go traffic.
“The whole program uses existing roadway and a handful of signs and some training so it’s really inexpensive,” said Hersey.
CDOT says the bus shoulder problem would not interrupt the plan to build a toll lane using the shoulder from the Highway 40 ramp through Idaho Springs.
That plan is on schedule for completion and implementation in 2015.