Bay Bridge bus lane: A lot of traffic pain for little rider gain?

By Nico Savage : mercurynews – excerpt

Dedicated lane would save ‘less than five minutes’ across span, research found

For transbay bus riders, it seems like a fantasy: A dedicated lane across the Bay Bridge to free their chariots from traffic.

For Bay Bridge drivers already enduring one of the region’s worst commutes, losing one of those five lanes seems like the stuff of nightmares.

New research from the Bay Area’s congestion management agency indicates that reserving a lane across the span for buses would make the fears of car drivers come true — but wouldn’t deliver the relief bus riders are hoping for.

It would save “less than five minutes” on morning trips into San Francisco, said Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, citing a forthcoming study the agency is working on. Typically, Rentschler said, “The bridge is not the problem.”.

If you really want to speed those buses up, he said, more effective plans are already in the works to streamline the gridlock to and from the bridge by expanding bus and carpool lanes on East Bay freeways(more)