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How are those new bus platforms treating you? (PBOT wants to know)


Riders roll through a bus platform on SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been just over a year since the Portland Bureau of Transportation installed the city’s first temporary bus platforms. Now there are 10 citywide and PBOT wants to know what you think of them.

A major goal for these platforms — which first appeared in September 2020 on Northwest 18th and 19th — is to allow the bike traffic lane to remain clear – even when a bus operator services a stop. The bus/bike leapfrog (seen below on North Williams Ave before the bike lane was moved to the left to avoid the problem) is a common and dangerous dance that happens on many major bikeways that are also frequent service bus lines.


Existing installations. (Source: PBOT)

At the five locations where PBOT has installed a pre-fabricated floating bus platform (used where a curbside bike lane exists), riders can pedal through without the stress and inconvenience of stopping behind a bus. PBOT has also experimented with temporary asphalt bus islands on streets without curbside bike lanes, which give bus riders a larger waiting platform and allow bus operators to remain in traffic while they pick-up and drop-off.

Beyond the benefits for bike riders and bus riders, a key advantage of these platforms is that they speed up bus service because operators don’t have to leave and then merge back into general traffic lanes.

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PBOT wants to hear feedback to evaluate whether or not to continue using these platforms in the future, and how to make them work better if they do. They’ve released a very short online survey to capture your comments.

Here’s more from PBOT:

As part of the evaluation, the bureau is interested in learning about the user experience of these platforms. We want to hear from you about how you use these platforms – whether you bike through them on your ride or for boarding TriMet buses – and if having them installed has made a difference in your accessibility, safety, and comfort.

The slides below, shared by PBOT Transit Coordinator April Bertelsen at the November 9th PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting, list current locations of the two types of platforms:

At that recent meeting, Bertelsen said a key benefit of both platform types is that they, “Help us to make quick affordable changes on city streets.” She also anticipates a few more of the asphalt platforms coming to Southwest Alder street in 2022.

Whether or not more installations happen could depend on what type of feedback they receive through this survey.

If you’ve ridden or walked or scooted or driven by these platforms, please let PBOT know what you think. Here’s that survey link again. It will be open through January 3rd, 2022.