Transitways are the most robust running way available on streets, providing continuous and exclusive facilities for transit. By physically deterring the entry of other vehicles into the exclusive transit facility, a transitway has the greatest potential to reduce transit delays related to traffic interference.
Streets with consistently low transit travel speeds and high transit volume are candidates for more separation of transit from other traffic through physical design measures.
Transitways are equally applicable to buses and rail transit. The use of buses on protected right-of-way allows the creation of a flexible open BRT system. Streetcars can be used on transitways to similar affect.
Because transitways usually involve larger capital investments, they often involve vehicle procurements, and can be used as an opportunity to provide branded service, which can attract new riders.
Transitways eliminate delays due to stopped or slow traffic, and provide a predictable environment for traffic operations that strongly complements improved boarding strategies that reduce dwell time.
Since turning movements must be managed, transitways eliminate most turn-based delay.
Since transitways are truly exclusive of other traffic, they are easy to coordinate with active signal priority in a wide variety of operational conditions, even when short blocks, high transit volume, or other challenges are present.
Transitways save operational costs on high-volume routes by accommodating long transit vehicles, such as multi-unit rail or bi-articulated buses.
Transitways give bus and rail modes a prominent place within the streetscape, promoting the quality of the transit line and system and reinforcing the service or system brand.
Transitways support better transit performance than transit lanes, which in turn perform better than mixed traffic operation. However, street size and context, as well as service type and transit vehicle size, are strong factors in considering how best to serve a street.
Transitways demand detailed planning and consideration of context, with robust strategies for accommodating local goods movement and loading, especially where curbside access is a high priority but center-running designs are not possible.