Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority buses will now get the green light ahead of other traffic at six key intersections in the District of Columbia. New "bus only" traffic signals allow buses to proceed through the intersections before the standard traffic signals turn green, allowing the bus to proceed ahead of other vehicles. The technology, known as "queue jump," is part of a package of improvements designed to speed bus trips and keep service on time.
The new signal system gives priority to transit vehicles by displaying a short "proceed" indication on the "bus only" signal before providing a green light to other vehicles. The system enhances safety allowing the bus to pull away from the bus stop without relying on other motorists to yield to the bus.
When a Metrobus is stopped at the intersection, the bus-only traffic signal indicates when to proceed with a vertical bar, which serves as the bus' green light. After three seconds a flashing triangle shows the priority signal is about to end, followed by a horizontal bar that buses no longer have priority and must obey normal traffic signals.
The new queue jump system was funded through a Federal Transit Administration Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant provided through the District Department of Transportation as part of a package of improvements.