Vehicle: Bus: Route
Vertically separated bus lane   (+7)  [vote for, against]
Send the bus over the traffic jam

Buses are a good way to reduce traffic congestion. Dedicated bus lanes make them a lot faster than driving in rush hour. But what about places where there isn't room for a bus lane? In the UK, the problem is often down to roads passing through the suburbs with just one lane in each direction. Jams occur daily in the same places.

A monorail would be a solution, but it needs the construction of a whole network in order to be effective. For 95% of the city, a bus works very well; they only suffer when there's no way to avoid these bottlenecks.

Time for a vertically separated bus lane. The bus is modified to be able to run on a monorail as well as on the road. Monorail sections are then only required to get through (or more accurately, over) congested areas, drastically reducing the infrastructure requirement - no stations, or parking, and perhaps a total of five miles of track for the whole city instead of a hundred miles.

On- and off-ramps are located down side streets so as not to interfere with the flow of traffic. The monorail structures themselves could also carry street lights, or perhaps rainwater catchers and hanging baskets.
-- david_scothern, Jan 18 2015

Guided Bus
[bs0u0155, Jan 21 2015]

Wuppertal http://www.urbanrai...hwinkel_2009-12.JPG
Like this in Wuppertal? [xenzag, Jan 22 2015]

A. Vertical can also be down as in subway s.

B. ONE WAY in in the morning And ONE WAY out at night ? OR does the traffic clog in both directions.
-- popbottle, Jan 19 2015

Monorails - tch!

Was looking at the Naha 'monorail' about two months ago and it quite clearly has two rails.
-- not_morrison_rm, Jan 19 2015

popbottle, B - depends on the extent of the traffic problem. In my experience, the traffic will jam at different places on the way in (morning) and out (evening) - so a monorail segment is likely to be useful in one direction only, most of the time. I suppose a system of traffic lights could allow bi-directional use by ensuring that buses only enter when they have a clear path to the exit.
-- david_scothern, Jan 19 2015

Wouldn't it be better to use a suspended monorail system? That way there doesn't need to be dedicated road area for connecting the bus to the rail. For example, a bidirectional section could load and unload in a center turn lane that could still be used for other traffic when a bus wasn't taking off or landing. A single direction route could take off from anywhere on the road as long as there is more than one lane each direction since tall vehicles might not be able to go under the monorail track at its lowest point.

The other advantage is that you don't have to figure out how to put a monorail suspension and normal wheels on the bottom of the bus.
-- scad mientist, Jan 20 2015

I did initially consider a suspended system, and I think it's a viable option, but prefer the idea of running the bus over the rail for the following reasons:

- Buses are body-on-frame construction, so the strength is all below the cabin
- Double deckers could be accommodated if the rail was beneath the vehicle
-- david_scothern, Jan 20 2015

What did you have in mind for modifying a bus so it could run on a monorail? It seems to me like it would require a rather major transformation. (extra wheels in the middle plus wheels that extend down to hold the sides of the guideway) Or do you just have a slot down the middle of the bus, requiring bus passengers to climb a lot of stairs to get up into the bus from a ground level bus stop?
-- scad mientist, Jan 20 2015

Reasonable questions all (well, er, possibly excepting the last one - feel free to play the Thunderbirds theme if you wish...). Maybe the minimum-change solution would be a guideway rather than a monorail - one trough for the nearside wheels, one for the offside, narrow on the straights to minimise visual intrusion, broader on the turns to accommodate the differing wheel paths of front and rear wheels.
-- david_scothern, Jan 21 2015

but guided bus ways are WKTE <link>
-- bs0u0155, Jan 21 2015

Absolutely, as are monorails. The idea here is not the guideway itself, but rather to take a conventional bus, with minimal modification, and to introduce a simple and relatively low cost way to make it immune to traffic jams.
-- david_scothern, Jan 22 2015


But, no such thing....they all have two rails.

I'm sure that one train on top of the rail and one hanging from the bottom could do synchronised rail-clamp releasing, like running a finger across a piano keyboard, so they could pass.

Possibly to the Thunderbirds theme tune.
-- not_morrison_rm, Jan 22 2015

In my experience (which includes eight years driving them), buses are a good way to create traffic congestion. Quite apart from the fact that, as with all public transport, they're only useful if they go from where you are to where you want to be at the time that you want to go there, they still travel even when they're empty, taking up road space to no purpose. Bus lanes only make things worse, taking a whole (wide) lane-width out of use for other traffic, even when there's not a bus around for miles.

To reduce traffic congestion, buses should be removed from the roads altogether, and this looks like a fine way to do that, because rather than making buses immune to traffic jams it makes traffic immune to bus jams.

Incidentally: "Buses are body-on-frame construction, so the strength is all below the cabin". Not necessarily; the Leyland National was of unitary construction, and was built from the roof downwards.
-- angel, Jan 22 2015

In which case, I sit corrected. I'd stand corrected, but there aren't many people on the bus and it seems unnecessary.
-- david_scothern, Jan 22 2015

Very few buses in Amsterdam - mostly bicycles and trams, and very few cars. Result? - A perfect city for living in that is NOT organised around the geedy, needy, global warming, private car owner.
-- xenzag, Jan 22 2015

We were in Amsterdam recently and I remember seeing some very worried-looking people trying to navigate the city in a big 4x4 - very funny.
-- hippo, Jan 22 2015

random, halfbakery