A Summary of Design, Policies and Operational Characteristics for Shared Bicycle/Bus Lanes

Source: University of South Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

This report contains the results of an investigation of the design and operation of shared bicycle/bus lanes in municipalities in the United States and other countries. These lanes are designated for use by public transit buses, bicycles, and usually also for right-turning vehicles. Some municipalities may also allow use of these lanes by taxis and delivery vehicles. The purpose of such lanes is to provide a time advantage to public transit service by taking the buses out of the general traffic flow and into a designated lane. Where constrained right-of-way prevents provision of a separate bicycle lane, the intent is to allow bicycles to use the designated bus lane. This is to provide a more direct route for bicyclists, provide greater level of service to bicyclists and provide some degree of space separation between general traffic and bicyclists for their greater safety and comfort. However, this combined use raises many issues of compatibility of bicycles and buses sharing the same road space.

Through surveys and interviews, the shared bicycle/bus lanes from four cities in the United States were selected for in-depth examination and were developed into case studies: Ocean City, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. As a result of this investigation, an identification and discussion of the contextual factors, design variables, and tools for planning and implementing shared bicycle/bus lanes is presented. The report provides recommendations for further needed research.

Back to Search Results