Bus lane designation

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Bus lane designation is a policy that creates restricted travel lanes on surface streets for public bus traffic. The creation of designated bus lanes is accomplished through a variety of design strategies that separate public buses from other modes of transportation. Such design strategies include comprehensive street signage, lane markings and/or painting on the physical street, soft barriers (e.g. rumble strips), and hard barriers (e.g. raised curbs). Lane designation restrictions may vary by time of day and may permit private vehicle use during non-peak hours or under certain conditions. Designated bus lanes aim to increase the overall efficiency and safety of public bus travel, while providing ancillary benefits for other street users.




A city identifies a travel corridor that suffers from extreme congestion during peak travel hours causing buses to run slowly and idle in traffic. Additionally, the frequent stopping of the bus slows traffic, exacerbates congestion, and creates a more dangerous driving environment for all users of the street. The city decides to designate the travel lane nearest to the curb a bus travel lane Monday-Friday from 7-9:30am and 4:30-7pm. To do so, the city posts comprehensive signs outlining the new ordinance.


Tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Less travel space for private automobiles
  2. Less travel space for cyclists
  3. Less space available for parking
  4. Increased difficulties making right-hand turns for motorists
Compatibility Assessment

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Is there significant congestion delaying bus operation?
  2. Is there a significant ridership or the potential for increased ridership?
  3. Are buses idling in congestion harming air quality with increased concentrated emissions?
  4. Is there space on the streetscape to designate a designated bus lane?
  5. Does the municipality have the resources to enforce a designated bus lanes?

The following questions should be considered when determining how to implement this policy:

  1. How may designated bus lanes approve efficiency of current bus routes?
  2. How may connectivity be facilitated across bus lanes?
  3. How will the lanes be demarcated?
  4. How will the lanes be separated from traffic (hard or soft barriers)?
  5. What vehicles, if any, will be allowed in the designated bus lanes?


  • For governance level(s): Local.




  • [Click "edit" to insert links].
  • [Click "edit" to insert].
  1. INSERT a reference.
  2. http://austintexas.gov/prioritylanes
  3. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/shared_use_bus_priority_lanes_on_city_streets_agrawal.pdf
  4. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/shared_use_bus_priority_lanes_on_city_streets_agrawal.pdf
  5. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/shared_use_bus_priority_lanes_on_city_streets_agrawal.pdf
  6. http://nacto.org/docs/usdg/shared_use_bus_priority_lanes_on_city_streets_agrawal.pdf
  7. INSERT a reference.
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