I-405 bus shoulder driving to start on Thursday.

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dotDriver training has gone well and Community Transit and Sound Transit buses are prepared to start shoulder operations on I-405 Thursday morning, if conditions are met.

A Transit Only right-hand shoulder lane has been established on two stretches of southbound I-405:

  • Between Highway 527 (Canyon Park exit) and NE 195th Street; and
  • Between Highway 522 and NE 160th Street.

The shoulder lane will allow buses to quickly travel from one exit to the next without having to merge across traffic.

Built as part of the I-405 Express Toll Lanes project, the 13-foot wide shoulder lane is the result of a partnership between Community Transit, King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Bus shoulder operations are common in other states such as Minnesota and Ohio. Community Transit entered into an agreement with WSDOT for I-405 shoulder operations in 2010.

“Shoulder lanes have been part of a planning process that has been years in the making,” said Kim Henry, WSDOT I-405/SR 167 Program Director. “They will help add reliability to several bus routes during heavy morning commutes.”

Rules of the road

  • Buses will use the shoulder lane only during the weekday morning commute (6-9 a.m.).
  • Buses will use the shoulder lane only when regular traffic is running substantially slower than posted speeds.
  • Buses will flash their hazard lights when operating on the shoulder to alert other vehicles.
  • When traffic is running at or close to posted speeds, buses will use the right-hand general purpose traffic lane.
  • If there is a stalled vehicle or another obstruction blocking the shoulder lane, buses will use the right-hand general purpose lane.

For more information about I-405 shoulder lane operations, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/405/BusShoulderLanes.htm.

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