Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's deputy web editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This fall, people sitting in traffic on the Stevenson Expressway (aka Interstate 55) in Illinois, may be less-than-happy to notice that buses are slowly passing them on the inside shoulder. Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed legislation approving a two-year program that will allow public buses on two routes to drive in the shoulder lanes when traffic is inching along at less than 35 mph during rush hours. The selected buses will not be allowed to go faster than 35 mph and are prohibited from using the shoulder if it's occupied for an accident investigation or maintenance. The state hopes that this pilot will improve travel times, help the environment and encourage more people to use mass transit. The program is being paid for with a $1.5 million federal grant for projects that improve air quality.