Drivers in west London will notice something different on their commute Friday morning.
The city of London is introducing a dedicated transit lane on Sarnia Road at Wonderland, giving LTC buses the priority when turning left at the westbound traffic signal.
The new lane, which is clearly identified with white diamond shaped markers painted on the road surface, along with overhead signs and a red coloured road surface, is dedicated for transit vehicle use only.
“We’re focused on changing the way Londoners move across the community and this demonstrates that commitment,” Mayor Matt Brown said in a release. “This is great news and an important step forward as we build a faster, easier to use and more connected Rapid Transit system in London.”
The opening of the transit lane follows months of construction work in the area that created traffic headaches for commuters.
The city says when a bus in the new transit lane approaches the traffic signal, it will be detected by a sensor. The sensor will then trigger a new “transit signal” to turn green and allow buses to proceed simultaneously with other westbound traffic.
The “Transit Only” signal differs in appearance from a typical traffic light, in that it is situated lower and is black in colour.
While this is the first such dedicated transit lane in London, it won’t be the last.
“This dedicated transit lane will be the first of many to appear in London over the next few years,” said new city engineer Kelly Scherr.
The city says traffic signal optimization is a big part of their strategic plan and is a key part of their strategy to enhance transit services.
The designated lane and “Transit Signal” will be in use for London Transit routes 10 and 29, which together carry 440 passengers on an hourly basis, with increased ridership during peak periods.