Tight Spot: Determining when Buses + Bikes should share spaces, and how to make it work

the banner image shows a section of Broadway in Somerville. A 101 bus to Sullivan Square travels down the red bus-bike only lane; a cyclist in a bright orange jacket and white helmet rides along the parking lane to the bus's right.

In many urban settings, buses and bikes share limited street space, whether intentionally accommodated through the installation of shared infrastructure, or not. Separating facilities for buses and people riding bikes is ideal and offers the safest and most efficient routes for both bus and bike riders. However, in specific circumstances shared bus-bike lanes can be favorable to both people riding bikes and those traveling by bus.

Download the full report here.

This report shares our thinking about where and how shared bus-bike lanes work best to keep people riding their bikes safe and help buses move efficiently.

There are already a number of shared bus-bike lanes in Metro Boston, and our report intends to share guidance and key findings from existing projects to support planners in future projects. Read the report now.

a line of people board a 57 bus to Kenmore Square. The bus sits in a red bus-bike only lane.

Key Recommendations and Findings:

  • The shared bus-bike lanes that have been most successful are the ones that improved conditions for both people riding the bus and biking.
  • While shared infrastructure is not as beneficial as separated and protected facilities for buses and bikes, the existing shared bus-bike lane projects have positively contributed to modeshift and feelings of perceived safety by those riding their bikes.
  • Shared bus-bike lanes should only be implemented on constrained corridors, where separated bus and bike infrastructure cannot fit.

A group of Street Ambassadors, about half a dozen people, smile at the camera. They are wearing orange shirts, two hold blue and orange signs, and they are standing in an empty parking lane next to a red bus-bike only lane.

What You Can Do:

  • Volunteer with LivableStreets as a Street Ambassador to engage bike and bus riders. Street Ambassadors have been critical to collect the data to support these street changes in being successful. Sign up here or contact [email protected] to learn more about this unique opportunity to influence how people move around Metro Boston.
  • Become a member: Join our growing community of people invested in creating safe streets and livable communities. Become a member of LivableStreets today!
  • Contact: [email protected]