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'Bus On Shoulder System' Expands From Durham To Wake County

A bus participating in the Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) program.

After a year of success in Durham County, the state's first Bus on Shoulder System (BOSS) is ready to expand into Wake County. The North Carolina Department of Transportation allows transit buses to travel on the shoulders of designated stretches of roadways to bypass congested traffic, but only when speeds drop below 35 miles per hour.

“The buses cannot go more than 15 mph faster than the travel lane motorists,” says State Systems Engineer Meredith McDiarmid, who oversees the BOSS program. “So if the travel lane is stopped, the buses can only go 15 mph. So these operations are very low speed.”

McDiarmid says buses had occasion to use the shoulder more than 700 times over the past year, and there have been no crashes.

NCDOT and Triangle Transit will begin the second phase of the BOSS program on Monday. Buses in Wake County will be able to use the westbound shoulder of I-40 and Wade Avenue between Blue Ridge Rd and the Durham Freeway, as well as eastbound between Page Rd and Blue Ridge Rd.

Fed up with the frigid winters of her native state, Catherine was lured to North Carolina in 2006. She grew up in Wisconsin where she spent much of her time making music and telling stories. Prior to joining WUNC, Catherine hosted All Things Considered and classical music at Wisconsin Public Radio. She got her start hosting late-nights and producing current events talk shows for the station's Ideas Network. She later became a fill-in talk show host and recorded books for WPR's popular daily program, Chapter A Day.
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