BOSS Area Map
Project Map

BOSS Area Map (1mb)

BOSS Fast Facts
  • Service Areas:
    Durham County service began in July 2012.
    Activating on I-40 in Wake County in August 2013.
  • Service Restrictions:
    Used at the driver’s discretion only when traffic slows to less than 35 MPH.
    Buses may travel no faster than 35 MPH when in shoulder.
  • Cost:
    Approximately $2,000 per shoulder mile including signage.
Links and BOSS Documents
Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) billboard

Description and Use

The N.C. Department of Transportation is working in partnership with local public transportation systems to implement the Bus On Shoulder System, also known as BOSS.

When traffic is moving at speeds below 35 miles per hour, BOSS gives trained public transportation bus drivers the option to travel at low speeds on designated interstate and primary route shoulders. Buses driven on the shoulders can only travel 15 mph faster than traffic, with a maximum speed of 35 mph.

As of August 19, 2013, BOSS will be in use along both directions of Interstate 40 from U.S. 15-501 in Durham County to Wade Avenue in Wake County. BOSS also continues on Wade Avenue between I-40 and Blue Ridge Road.


BOSS is in use on these Triangle Transit routes in Durham County:

  • CRX - Chapel Hill Express
  • Route 800 - Chapel Hill to the Regional Transit Center via The Streets at Southpoint
  • Route 700 - Durham to the Regional Transit Center (Eastbound only on I-40)
  • Shuttle 42 between the Regional Transit Center and IBM (Eastbound only on I-40)

As of August 19, 2013, BOSS is in use on the following Triangle Transit routes in Wake County:

  • Route 100 – Downtown Raleigh to Raleigh Durham International Airport to the Regional Transit Center
  • Route 105 – Downtown Raleigh to the Regional Transit Center
  • Route 301 – Downtown Raleigh to Cary to the Regional Transit Center
  • CRX – Chapel Hill Express
  • DRX – Durham-Raleigh Express

The table below gives the maximum speeds for buses driving in the shoulder:

Maximum BOSS operating speeds in North Carolina
Travel speeds in main lanesMaximum bus speeds in shoulder
Above 35 MPHBuses may not travel on shoulder
20 MPH to 35 MPH35 MPH (max 35 MPH in shoulder)
15 MPH30 mph (i.e., 15 MPH above main lanes)
5 MPH20 mph (i.e., 15 MPH above main lanes)
0 MPH (stopped)15 mph (i.e., 15 MPH above main lanes)

News Releases and Updates

  • Currently, no recent news releases.

Benefits of BOSS

BOSS helps keep buses on time, providing a more reliable service. It also encourages the use of public transportation, which reduces traffic congestion on North Carolina roads.

BOSS offers immediate benefits during times of moderate or heavy traffic congestion. It is not limited to rush-hour congestion; bus drivers can move to the shoulder at any time during major traffic backups.

Buses operating on the shoulder must yield to any other vehicles parked in the shoulder. They must also yield to emergency response vehicles that need to use the shoulder. To help keep the shoulders clear, unattended vehicles in the shoulders of designated BOSS routes are towed as quickly as possible.

Most importantly, the option of driving on the shoulder is determined by trained bus drivers. Although traffic may be moving at speeds slower than 35 mph, it is up to the driver to determine whether conditions are safe to travel in the shoulder. Since its beginning in July 2012, through August 2013, BOSS has been used nearly 700 times with no accidents reported.

What’s next?

There are currently no plans for BOSS in other areas of the state. However, NCDOT will work with other public transportation systems who wish to explore BOSS in their area to determine locations and how to implement the system.

Contact Information

Meredith McDiarmid, PE, CPM
State Systems Operations Engineer
NCDOT Traffic Systems Operations Unit

  • Email: Contact Us
  • Phone: (919) 825-2619
  • Address: 1636 Gold Star Drive, Raleigh, N.C. 27607