Phase 1: Shared Bus-Bike Lane

Phase 1: Shared Bus-Bike Lane

The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) implemented the city’s first shared bus/bike lane on December 16, 2019. The dedicated lane on 4th Street used the existing bicycle lane and the rightmost travel lane between S. McDowell Street and the Charlotte Transit Center to create a single combined bus/bike lane.

Shared Bus-Bike Lane Map

The bus/bike lane is restricted to Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), school buses, scooter, and bicycle use only. All vehicles must make right turns from the rightmost (bus/bike) lane at intersections and driveways. Pavement markings are modified at intersections and drivers should yield the right-of-way to vehicles traveling in the bus/bike lane when changing lanes to make a right turn. Parking is not permitted on the east side of 4th Street. General vehicle traffic should be maintained in the neighboring lanes. 

Controlled bus/bike lanes have been successful in many other cities across the country providing more transportation options, improving safety, and encouraging residents to make sustainable transportation choices.

Bus-Bike Lane in Philadelphia Photo Credit: Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition

About the Shared Bus/Bike Lane

During the pilot, CDOT collected feedback and data on a variety of performance measures. This information was influential in the decision for the lane to become permanent. 


  • Travel time, time savings, improvements
  • Observed feedback, transit rider satisfaction
  • Bicyclist safety and comfort
  • Effect on general traffic’s level of service
  • Neighborhood support and concerns

Floating Bus Stop Platform Pilot​

​In addition to the bus/bike lane, CDOT and CATS are partnering to pilot a series of “floating bus stop” platforms along segments of 4th St. Floating bus stops are designed to allow buses to make in-lane stops without disrupting the flow of the bicycle lane. Bicyclists will continue to travel in a dedicated lane, but must yield once approaching a bus stop to allow for bus passenger pickup/drop off.

Floating Bus Stop Platform Pilot​

​In the future, another CATS and CDOT pilot will feature a series of “floating bus stop” platforms, also along 4th Street. These platforms are designed to allow buses to make in-lane stops without disrupting the flow of the bicycle lane. They will be located on Church Street and on Tryon Street.

Frequently Asked Questions

A shared bicycle/bus lane is a lane of traffic along a corridor dedicated for exclusive use by buses, bicyclists, and other designated modes of transit.

​A dedicated shared-use lane reduces the conflict between vehicles, buses and bikes by creating a clear separation between these modes of transportation. This creates a safer corridor for the different modes of transit. Public transportation will also benefit from improved bus service speed and reliability.

This pilot program is an opportunity to help mitigate traffic congestion in Uptown by prioritizing buses, which move a large number of people compared to single-occupancy vehicles.

The shared bus/bike lane will be restricted to CATS, school buses, scooter and bicycle use only. Emergency vehicles will also be able to use this lane when necessary.

4th Street was selected for the pilot program because of the high-volume frequency of bus trips to/from the Charlotte Transportation Center, as well as the capacity of the road.

​A survey will soon be available to obtain feedback from the public regarding the pilot program. Data gained from the pilot and survey will help identifying opportunities to implement similar pilot programs in other bus corridors throughout Charlotte.


​Drivers and cyclists should look for signs and pavement markings that will define the bus/bike lane. Drivers should yield the right of way to vehicles traveling in the bus/bike lane when changing lanes to make a right turn.

Bus Bike Right Turns Only

​Things to Remember

  • ​ALWAYS yield to people in crosswalks. 
  • NEVER pass a school bus if its red lights are flashing. Wait until the lights have stopped. 
  • Always look first for pedestrians and bicyclists before turning, especially when driving at night. 
  • When preparing to make a right turn, pass bicyclists leaving four feet of space. 
  • Pullover or stop at an intersection to allow an emergency vehicle to pass if you see one traveling with lights flashing and/or a siren running.

  • ​Look for cars in all directions – including those turning right – before crossing the street or parking lot. 
  • Obey all pedestrian traffic signals. 
  • Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk. 
  • At night, walk in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective to be more visible.
  • ​​Wear a helmet. 
  • Obey all traffic signals and stop at “Stop” signs and red lights. 
  • Use hand signals to indicate when turning. 
  • Use front and rear lights and reflectors at night and be as visible as possible.