5 measures implemented in Laval

Bus Preferential Measures (BPM) [definition]

Bus preferential measures (BPM) are devices and road setups that give priority to public transit vehicles and while simultaneously reducing roads congestion in Laval.

These preferential measures for buses are a whole in which every measure contributes on a scale that may seem minimal but, at the end a route, allows users to gain many minutes.

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TRANSIT SIGNAL PRIORITY

A smart system enabling communication between traffic lights and vehicles while shifting priority to buses. The STL system only emits an automatic priority request when a bus is running late and must catch up.

The STL system was custom designed and is unique in North America, and even in the world: It simultaneously processes the number of minutes to recover AND the number of passengers on board in order to assign priority.

All STL vehicles are equipped with a Transit Signal Priority System

  • 309 buses
  • 23 paratransit vehicles
  • 232 intersections = 90% of the STL network = 75% Laval traffic lights

RESERVED BUS LANE

A road lane reserved for buses. Other vehicles, such as taxis, paratransit vehicles, and first responders, are often allowed to use reserved lines.

The use of reserved lanes does, at times, pose certain use restrictions.

  • 14,4 km of new reserved lanes
  • Nearly 1 km of which are central reserved lanes on Le Corbusier Boulevard


Central reserved lanes - Le Corbusier Boulevard

'CANDLESTICK' PRIORITY TRAFFIC SIGNALS

The ‘candlestick’ type traffic lights are part of the Transit Signal Priority System that ensures priority is given to public transit vehicles.

In Laval, these lights are part of a smart signal system that provides priority only when a bus is running late. They are also integrated in a complementary manner with the bypass lanes to the right.

What does it look like? An extra round black light with a vertical white bar in the middle is added to the overhead signal box.

What to do when the white bar lights up

Motorists have nothing to do when a ‘candlestick’ light lights up. They should simply wait for the green light just like at any other intersection.

  • 11 new 'candlestick' lights

BYPASS LANES

Bypass lanes are short stretches of lane added to the right near the intersections.

Bypass lanes have three main positive effects on traffic:

  1. Buses can bypass rush hour road traffic;
  2. They are then better positioned to take off in priority at the green light or at the 'candlestick' light.
  3. Motorists get the advantage of making an easier turn thanks to this lane.

  • 6 new bypass lanes

BUS STOP OR BUS SHELTER REPOSITIONING AHEAD OF THE INTERSECTION

Studies show that moving a stop past the intersection helps gain precious seconds.

This tactic makes perfect sense. Coupled with our Transit Priority Signal System it allows buses to cross the intersection instead of stopping at the light.

It is therefore more efficient to have the stop placed PAST THE intersection.

These small tweaks have a big impact on the travel time of our buses.

  • 77 stops or shelters moved

F.A.Q.

GENERAL

1. What are preferential bus measures?
  • Bus preferential measures (BPM) are devices or road setups that give priority to public transit vehicles while simultaneously reducing road congestion effects. 
2. What concrete measures were implemented by the STL?
  • Five bus preferential measures (BPM) we implemented in Laval

     

  • Transit Signal Priority
    • 232 intersections, 90% of the STL network and 75% of Laval traffic lights

       

  • Reserved Lanes
    • 14,4 km of new reserved lanes
    • Nearly 1km of which are central reserved lanes on Le Corbusier Boulevard

       

  • 'Candlestick' Priority Lights
  • 11 new 'candlestick' type lights

 

  • Bypass Lanes to the Right
  • 6 new bypass lanes

     

  • Bus Stop or Shelter Repositioning
  • 77 stops or shelters moved
3. What are the project's main objectives?

Bus Preferential Measures are a whole in which each measure has its own, seemingly minimal effect but which may help gain several minutes overall.

Short term effects

  • Reduces bus travel time and gains up to 8 minutes for user clientele
  • Improves network performance and reliability
  • Increases and improves service offer
  • Promotes current and upcoming urban development
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improves public transit modal aspect in comparison to the use of automobiles.

Long term effects

  • Up to 8 minutes gained on certain routes
  • Almost 100 000 hours in travel time reduction over one year
  • As a global strategy, BPM will reduce the STL’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 3 000 tonnes per year. This number excludes general reductions generated by clients who leave their car at home.
  • 232 'smart' intersections in Laval for STL bus and paratransit priority

 

4. How were the BPM financed?
  • The STL's global preferential measures project was made possible by the  Programme d’aide au transport collectif des personnes du ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports (MTMEDT) du Québec.
  • This program funded 100% of our projects.
  • The City of Laval  and the AMT also coordinated major projects with ours in order to improve urban furniture and spatial planning.
  • Sequence of events :
    • 2013 legislative decree
    • 2013-2015 studies and analysis
    • Project launch in 2015
    • Road works in 2016-2017.
  • Main road constructions were done in 2016; certain elements like the synchronisation of transit signal priority lights and the landscaping of the central reserved lanes on Le Corbusier Boulevard were finished in 2017.
5. What was the amount of the investments in the project?
  • The global investment  in all projects (STL and City of Laval) amounts to 38.8 M dollars to improve the public transit system in Laval.
  • The Ministry of Transport, Urban Mobility and Electrification of Transportation of Quebec made a 23.5 M dollars contribution to the the STL.
  • The City of Laval has invested 15.3 M dollars in the project.
  • The AMT received 3.2 M dollars from the Ministry of Transport to carry out road works on the Notre-Dame and de la Concorde Boulevards.

6. When did the road works and installation of the furniture begin?
  • In Spring 2016*

Considering the fact that the legislative decree was issued in 2013, followed by the detailed engineering studies and elaboration of the projects in 2014-2015.

7. What works were carried out by the City of Laval?
  • The City of Laval invested $15.3 million in the following layout:
  • 7.6 KM total of bicycle paths, of which 4.2 KM was new paths and 3.3 KM of which was repaired or modified trails.
  • 3.4 KM of new sidewalks
  • 166 new lamp posts
  • Optimisation and synchronisation of traffic lights (with the STL)

Road and pavement:

  • Complete overhaul of boulevard Daniel-Johnson between Saint-Martin and Jean-Béraud boulevards;
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier: complete overhaul between Saint-Martin and Du Souvenir boulevards;
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier: pavement overhaul, between boulevard Dagenais and rue Michelin and between rue Berlier and H-440 (and the entire Saint-Martin/Curé-Labelle intersection).

Underground:

  • Reconstruction of the sanitary sewer between rue Édouard-Montpetit and boulevard Le Carrefour under boulevard Daniel-Johnson;
  • Trench excavation works for traffic lights and street lighting in various locations;
  • Controller replacement (at approximately 232 intersections) and traffic light boxes (fewer than 232);
  • Adding and otherwise working with Traffic Signal Priority in 232 intersections.
8. What works were carried out by the AMT?

In 2016, the AMT set Bus Preferential Measures for the two major axes located on Laval territory: on Notre-Dame and De la Concorde boulevards.

9. What BPM were set?

  • Curé-Labelle (between Sainte-Rose and Saint-Martin boulevards)
  • Le Carrefour terminal 
    • Avenue Terry-Fox, between boulevard Le Carrefour and avenue du Cosmodôme ;
    • Boulevard Daniel-Johnson, between rue Jean-Béraud and boulevard St-Martin ;
    • Boulevard Le Carrefour between Le Corbusier and Chomedey boulevards.
  • Des Laurentides axis (between Bellerose and Cartier Ouest boulevards) and the Cartier terminal (between boulevard des Laurentides and 15e Rue)
  • Lachapelle Bridge approaches 
    • Boulevard Samson, between Promenades des Iles and boulevard Curé-Labelle ;
    • Boulevard Lévesque, between Promenades des Iles and boulevard Curé-Labelle ;
    • Boulevard Curé-Labelle, between boulevard Samson and the Lachapelle Bridge.
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier northbound (between boulevard Dagenais and H-440)
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier southbound (between avenue Albert-Duquesne and boulevard du Souvenir
  • Traffic Signal Priority equipment at 232 traffic lights
  • Notre-Dame and de la Concorde (AMT projects)
    • Jean-Noël-Lavoie Highway reserved lanes
    • Notre-Dame (between Samson and
      Le Corbusier boulevards)

De la Concorde (between boulevard Laval and rue Vanier)

10. What criteria were used on deciding where to install them?
  • Detailed cost-benefit analysis for each measure;
  • Laval road traffic congestion points were identified via an exhaustive study carried out by the STL;
  • Sectors where our buses lost the most time were targeted in order to design effective measures to optimise trip time.
11. How were the works arranged? Who was the project manager?
  • The STL was the project manager for the BPM works.
  • Works were coordinated in cooperation with the City of Laval and the AMT.
  • Independent firms carried out the follow-up of work done by general contractors.
  • City of Laval project managers kept liaison between the STL and the municipality.

12. What is Traffic Signal Priority?
  • A smart communications system between traffic lights and vehicles that assigns right of way to buses.
  • The STL system issues one sole priority request when a bus is late and must catch up.
13. What equipment was necessary in installing the STL’s Traffic Signal Priority system?
  • Bus :
  • Real-time technology (GPS, onboard computer, and Passenger counter (already in use at the STL since 2009)
  • (New) priority request system for lights (its TSP acronym stands for Transit Signal Priority)
  • Traffic lights: priority request system for lights.
14. How many STL vehicles are equipped with Traffic Signal Priority systems?
  • The entire STL fleet is equipped to use the Transit Signal Priority system
    • 309 buses
    • 23 paratransit vehicles
15. How does the STL Transit Signal Priority system work?
  • The system AUTOMATICALLY requests priority from the traffic lights ONLY when bus is running late.
    1. The system predicts the moment at which the bus will cross the intersection.
    2. If more than one buses are simultaneously requesting priority from the lights, the system while only assign priority to ONEbus; the one that meets the following conditions:
      • Biggest delay (in minutes)
      • Most passengers on board
    3. Priority is assigned by extending or advancing the green light or the candlestick light
    4. The bus assigned priority continues its route.
  • No driver intervention is necessary; the system is entirely automated.
16. What are the advantages of Traffic Signal Priority systems?
  • Effective low cost systems to improve traffic smoothness
  • Beneficial for all: when a green light is extended or advanced, automobiles also benefit;
  • Entirely automated system: no driver intervention
  • Fits seamlessly into the urban fabric
17. What makes the STL’s system stand out?
  • Basic Traffic Signal Priority (TSP) systems request prioity automatically at all itmes withotu regard to the schedule or the number of passnegers.
  • The STL combines these two data sets (schedule and passengers) in its algorithme.
  • This way of doing things avoids big advances in favour of punctuality.

Supplemental: The level of complexity of this STL system is based on: 

  • Real-time technology already in use since 2009
  • An advanced onboard computer that analsyes data
  • An interface between the onboard computer and the priority request system (custom designed for the STL)

18. What is a ‘candlestick’ type priority light?
  • Candlestick type lights are a means of assigning priority to public transport vehicles.
  • In Laval, these candlestick lights are part of the Transport Signal Priority system and only assign priority when a bus is running late.
  • What does it look like? A round black extra light with a white vertical bar in the middle is added onto the overhead set of lights.
19. How do candlestick lights work?
  • In Laval, these candlestick lights are part of the Transport Signal Priority systems and only assign priority when a bus is running late.
  • When the white bar lights up, it means that the bus can pass before the traffic on any other lanes.
  • On average, priority provides a 5 to 7 second head start.

Supplemental: In Laval, candlestick lights are combined with bypass lanes to the right.

20. What must motorists do when a candlestick light lights up?
  • Nothing. Just like at any other intersection, motorists must wait for the green light before advancing.

21. What is a bypass lane?
  • It is a stretch of lane added to the right near the intersections.
22. What are bypass lanes used for?
  • Bypass lanes have three beneficial effects on traffic:
    1. Buses can bypass rush hour road traffic congestion;
    2. They are subsequently better placed to take off in priority upon a green light or a candlestick light;
    3. Motorists can take advantage of that lane to make easier right turns.

23. Why move a stop or bus shelter past the intersection?
  • Studies have shown that moving a stop past an intersection gains valuable seconds.
  • This stratagem is all about allowing the buses to cross an intersection instead of stopping at the light, when combined with Traffic Signal Priority
  • It is therefore more effective to have the stop located past the intersection.
  • These slight tweaks have a big impact on the trip time of our buses.

24. What are the global costs of reserved central lanes (road, pavement and stations)?
  • $7 million, as set by the decree.
25. Why reserved CENTRAL lanes? Why are they better than curbside lanes?
  • This configuration enables the biggest time gains and best operational efficiency.
  • This configuration benefits everyone: buses, motorists and cyclists.
  • By being ‘onsite’ these reserved central lanes allow the buses to circulate more smoothly; e.g., they allow them to avoid rush hour road congestion and the slowdowns caused by motorists turning right.
  • Likewise, right turns are made easier for motorists.
26. What are the expected benefits?
  • Reserved lanes are part of the set of measures consisting of Traffic Signal Priority, candlestick lights, stop and shelter repositioning, and creation of new bypass lanes.
  • Every day, and in everything we do, our objectives remain the same: to improve client experience by :
  • Reducing trip time (every minute counts)
  • Improving trip smoothness
  • Increasing public transport attractiveness
  • Reducing the number of cars on the road and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions (all our buses run on biodiesel, experimenting with electric technologies, etc.)
27. Who financed the creation of reserved central lanes?
  • The entirety of the project was financed by the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports du Québec’s Public Transport Programme ($7 million).
  • This amount does not include City of Laval investments in the same sector: bicycle paths, new sidewalks, modern lamp posts, etc.

28. When will central stations be officially open for users?
  • We foresee opening them for mid-October.
29. What and when is the project’s next step?
  • Digital displays will be installed in the stations in 2018.
  • Field studies are currently being conducted in order to plan the deployment of a Phase 2, which may be carried out in 2020-2021.
  • Our objective is to extend the reserved central lane northwards up to the 440.