Central Ave Bus Lane Pilot Ends

On Wednesday, March 31, the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin removing Bus Only Lane signage and road markings along Central Avenue between Eastway Drive and the Eastland Transit Center. Lanes will reopen to normal traffic use as removal of the signage and road markings are complete. Work is expected to take two to three weeks barring inclement weather or other unforeseen delays. Motorists are urged to remain alert and comply with all signage to allow the contractor to perform their work safely.

Information gathered during the six-month bus lane pilot will help Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to evaluate ways to increase bus reliability during an upcoming Bus Priority Study. For more information, please visit

Take the Survey!

We are encouraging the public to provide feedback through a survey, which will close on November 13, 2020

English SurveyEspañol Encuesta

Phase 2: Central Ave Bus Lane

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) and The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) worked together to implement a new dedicated bus lane along Central Ave from Eastway Dr to the Eastland Transit Center. This dedicated bus lane also featured an existing bike lane. The eastbound side traveling towards the Eastland Transit Center was opened on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. On Thursday, October 8, 2020, the bus lane became fully operational and open from both directions.

Existing Bike and Only Bus Lanes

CATS and CDOT implemented an additional dedicated bus lane on Central Avenue from Eastway to the Eastland Transit Center. The dedicated bus lane uses the existing rightmost travel lane, maintaining the existing bike lane.

Phase 1: Shared Bus-Bike Lane 

CATS and CDOT implemented the City’s first Shared Bus-Bike Laneon 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 CTC to create a single combined bus/bike lane. 

Envision My Ride 

Before 2016, CATS operated a hub-and-spoke bus system, often requiring riders to transfer at the Charlotte Transportation Center (CTC) in Uptown to reach their destination. This was an insufficient model that created long commutes for bus riders. In 2016, CATS staff launched Envision My Ride, a three-phased initiative to redesign the bus network to make it more reliable, consistent and efficient. 

Phase 1 Restructuring: 

In 2017, CATS restructured existing bus routes to provide cross-town connections, more direct service, increased connections to the LYNX Blue Line and increased frequency on various routes.

Phase 2 Frequency:

CATS began the effort of increasing frequency across the system, by increasing frequency on core routes. 

Phase 3 Reliability:

CATS will focus on efficiency through a Bus Priority Study slated to begin this fall. CATS will also evaluate potential corridors for these treatments while looking at the possibility of enhanced amenities at stop locations and Mobility Hubs to create an overall better rider experience. Enhancements may include dedicated bus lanes, amenity enhancements and more. 

Charlotte Moves Task Force 

In coordination with the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the City of Charlotte is preparing the Charlotte MOVES Strategic Mobility Planto guide the future of transportation and mobility in Charlotte. The City is committed to providing safe and equitable mobility options for all travelers regardless of age, income, ability, race, where they live, or how they choose to travel. Charlotte MOVES is a major effort that will update and consolidate all of the City’s existing transportation plans under one cover and set a vision for the future of mobility in Charlotte.

Twitter Pilot Video

Frequently Asked Questions

A bus lane is a lane of traffic along a corridor dedicated for exclusive use by buses.

A dedicated bus 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 by prioritizing buses, which move a large number of people compared to single-occupancy vehicles.

The bus lane will be restricted to CATS and school buses use only. Emergency vehicles will also be able to use this lane when necessary.

Central was selected for the following reasons: 
  • High transit ridership (The highest bus route in CATS network) 
  • High transit frequency (The bus currently comes every 10 minutes between 10 am - 7 pm on weekdays; this will change to 6 am - 7 pm beginning in October)
  • The key connection between Eastland CTC and Uptown

​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 to identify opportunities to implement similar pilot programs in other bus corridors throughout Charlotte.


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

Only Bus Lane

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.


CLT Street Life