Bus-only lanes separate buses from mixed traffic to help improve transit reliability and frequency, reduce congestion, and support mobility. Designated bus lanes provide transit priority for rapid transit and local buses, and unrestricted access to emergency vehicles.
Dedicated bus lanes can be installed immediately at the curb (curbside-running), or in an offset configuration in the middle of the road (centre-running lanes). The new bus-only lane downtown features a curbside-running lane for buses to travel along King Street between Ridout Street and Wellington Street.
Bus-only lanes have a number of benefits, including:
- Reliability – reduce travel time and increase service, as frequently as every 90 seconds during peak times.
- Reduce congestion – allowing buses to travel on dedicated lanes help reduce delays and ease congestion in general traffic lanes.
- Increase capacity – there are more opportunities for other road users to travel in general traffic lanes.
- Smooth ride – separating buses from other vehicles help riders get where they need to go easier and faster.
Paving markings are essential to help differentiate bus-only lanes from other traffic lanes. Paving markings combine with road signs and traffic signals provide important information about the direction of traffic, and where vehicles may or may not travel. In addition to road signs and traffic signals, red paint and diamond symbols can be applied to help road users recognize bus-only lanes.
Paving markings and road signs
Indicates that only buses are permitted in this lane.
Indicates that vehicles are permitted to cross the bus lane for driveway access/egress, or to enter dedicated right-turn lane.
Indicates a through-lane for buses and a dedicated right turn lane for vehicles.
Signs and symbols
Bus diamond signs indicate a lane is reserved for buses and help enforce the use of this lane. These signs can be ground-mounted, or installed overhead to notify road users of the restrictions.
Diamond symbols are used to indicate special purpose lanes, such as lanes reserved for buses - that is, bus-only lanes. Motorist must not park, stop, or drive in a lane with a diamond symbol, or bus-only markings.
Frequently asked questions
What do bus lanes look like?
Bus lanes are marked with a white solid diamond, which indicates the lane has been reserved for special purposes. Road signs and traffic signals are also installed to help road users recognize a bus-only lane. The sign has a diamond on it and a bus symbol. Red paint may also be applied to differentiate bus lanes from general traffic lanes.
Can other motor vehicles use bus lanes?
Dedicated bus lanes are just for buses to travel. It allows buses to get riders where they need to go faster and safer. Other motor vehicles are not permitted to park, stop, or drive in this line. Emergency vehicles excepted. Paving markings and road signs are used to indicate when a bus lane can be shared with other motor vehicles.
How many bus-only lanes are being installed in London?
The City recently built the first section of the Downtown Loop on King Street between Ridout Street and Wellington Street. This new bus-only lane is being used by London Transit, approximately every 90 seconds during peak times. Additional bus-only lanes will be installed downtown along Queens Avenue and Ridout Street in 2022, and Wellington Street in 2023.
A new bus lane will be built in 2022 along King Street between Wellington Street and Lyle Street as part of the East London Link project.
Future bus lanes will be constructed in the coming years as part of the Wellington Gateway project.