Nfld. & Labrador

City council green lights Metrobus request to delay greens

On Monday St. John's city council voted to implement a system that will give Metrobus more control over the traffic lights at certain intersections.

Automated system aims to get the bus to the stops on time

Dave Lane said there would be no button onboard the bus to control traffic lights. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

On Monday St. John's city council voted to implement a system that will see Metrobus have more control over the traffic lights at certain intersections.

Dave Lane, councillor at large, is quick to point out that doesn't mean drivers will have the power to control what colour the lights are.

"We are not going to have a button on the bus where the driver can just say, 'I want it to be green now,'" Lane said.

"It's an automated system that as a bus approaches an intersection, it will calculate [if it is] a minute or two behind schedule. If the light is green it might stay green for a couple of extra seconds and save some time."

Lane said the system is automated and a computer will calculate what lights to change. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The move aims to convince more people to take public transit and become regular Metrobus riders — something that's hard to do if the bus is often late, said Lane.

"That's one of the biggest complaints that we hear. People want to make sure that when they are waiting for the bus that it gets there when they expect it to arrive and this is really going to help make this happen," Lane told the CBC after Monday's regular council meeting.

Lane said the city already used the technology for its fire department so it won't be too difficult to put it into action.

City councils feels if the bus is on time more often more people will get onboard. (CBC)

The identified trouble spots are:

  • Freshwater Road at Stamps Lane/Oxen Pond Road
  • O'Leary Avenue at Thorburn Road
  • Lemarchant Road at Harvey Road, Long's Hill, Freshwater Road and Parade Street
  • Topsail Road at Hamlyn Road and Topsail Road at Columbus Drive
  • Prince Philip Drive at Clinch Crescent and Westerland Road

Lane said most drivers won't even notice that automated light fixing is being used when it's implemented later this spring, but bus riders will. 

"It's just going to save a minute or two but those minutes can add up when you are talking about a full bus route."

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