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January 20, 2020

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Opening Bus 71 lanes ‘no help to traffic’

Answering calls from the public to let other vehicles use the No. 71 bus-only lanes at night, authorities said yesterday that it is both unnecessary and infeasible.

The No. 71 bus operates from 4:30am to 11:30pm. The bus lane runs from Shenkun Road in the west to Zhongshan Road E1 at the Bund, mostly along the busy Yan’an Road. 

Cai Jingyan, vice director of the road transportation bureau, said the bus-only lane had almost no influence on the traffic on Yan’an Road, according to a third-party assessment.

“Fourteen of the 16 intersections which the bus passes are not affected, and congestion only occurs at the intersections of Yan’an Road with Huangpi Road and Maoming Road,” he said.

Considering that the lanes are unoccupied only for about four hours at night, to open them to other vehicles would not benefit traffic, Cai said. On the other hand, a lot of maintenance is done during the four hours.

“This bus line has screen doors at the bus stations, different from all other bus lines, and we’re already a short of time for maintenance,” Cai said.

“Also, if other vehicles, including trucks, are allowed to use the lanes, it could damage the facilities and make it unsafe for passengers.”

But Cai promised new measures to relieve pressure on Yan’an Road M. Currently, Yan’an Elevated Road is closed for maintenance once every two weeks from midnight to 5am. Cai said in the future the starting time will be delayed until 1am.


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