New Dedicated Bus Lane Pilot Opens Along Central Avenue
Cory Burkarth
Central Ave. Bus Polit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2020) — The new dedicated bus lane pilot is now open along Central Avenue between Eastway Drive and the Eastland Transit Center.

The Central Avenue Bus Lane pilot features a dedicated bus lane in the existing rightmost travel lane. The dedicated bus lane is restricted to Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) and school bus use only. Emergency vehicles will also be able to use this lane when necessary. This pilot includes an existing bike lane for cyclists traveling along the corridor.

This dedicated lane is the second phase of the collaborative project between two City departments. CATS and 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 Transportation Center (CTC). On September 8, with the recent changes in traffic patterns as a result of the pandemic, the City decided to test a second bus lane pilot. Central Avenue was selected for the pilot for several reasons including the high-frequency and ridership of CATS buses along the corridor, as well as the important connection between two transportation hubs, the Eastland Community Transit Center and CTC.

“Throughout the current health crisis, public transit has remained an essential service for our community’s front-line workers. CATS’ commitment to providing reliable service has not stopped,” said CATS CEO John Lewis. “The Central Avenue Bus Lane Pilot provides greater reliability to one of our highest ridership transit corridors.”

Dedicated bus lane partnerships are part of Envision My Ride, CATS’ ongoing effort to redesign and improve the bus system by identifying opportunities to improve service and implement new technologies and treatments. This will also create the framework for CATS’ Bus Corridor Study that will identify additional opportunities to improve service along key corridors and develop a capital improvement program for CATS bus service and bus stops.

In coordination with the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the City of Charlotte is preparing the Charlotte MOVES Strategic Mobility Plan to 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.

With the success of Phase 1 and lessons learned from Phase 2, the Bus Priority Study will evaluate a Phase 3 extension from Eastway to Uptown. Anyone who regularly travels on this portion of Central Avenue is encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences in our survey that will be available on the website beginning October 12. For more information on this pilot, visit the City of Charlotte website.