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Pilot Bus-Only Lanes Coming To City Heights And North Park

A pedestrian surrounded by cars crosses El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights, J...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: A pedestrian surrounded by cars crosses El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights, Jan. 11, 2017.

A pilot program to create bus-only lanes on 2.7 miles of El Cajon Boulevard is moving forward as officials aim to improve the speed and reliability of public transit.

City Council members Chris Ward and Georgette Gomez requested the change, which would create bus-only lanes in both directions from Park Boulevard to Fairmount Avenue. Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave his approval for the project, and transportation staff completed an analysis of design options last week.

Photo by KPBS Staff

This undated graphic shows a map of the route of a bus-only lane that is part of a pilot project for North Park and City Heights.

The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association helped write the proposal for the project. Beryl Forman, the association's marketing and mobility coordinator, said she hoped the project would prompt the Metropolitan Transit System to increase the frequency of buses on the boulevard.

"We're definitely hoping that the commute time is shorter, that should be improved when you roll out a pilot that is almost three miles long," she said.

The Rapid 215 and Route 1 buses carry roughly 10,000 people per day along El Cajon Boulevard, according to Ward and Gomez.

The full City Council is expected to vote on the pilot project in the coming weeks. The project is expected to launch in the late summer or early fall and last for around three months.

El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association said it would like to see bus-only lanes extended all the way to San Diego State University.

Plans for a bus-only lane on a three-mile stretch of El Cajon Boulevard in North Park and City Heights are moving forward. Officials hope they will improve the speed and reliability of public transit.

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