Motorcycles in bus lane trial

We’re assessing how motorcyclists use our roads and how to get the most out of our road network. We’ll be extending the motorcycles in bus lane trial to parts of the Eastern Freeway and Victoria Parade so we can gain a better understanding of the benefits to riders.

Bus in bus lane behind a motorcycleProject overview

Motorcycles were permitted to use Hoddle Street bus lane (southbound), between Eastern Freeway and Victoria Parade on a permanent basis in June 2019. We have been trialling this arrangement on Hoddle Street for the past 8 years.   

We’ll be expanding the trial to include sections of Victoria Parade and the Eastern Freeway from Wednesday, 24 July 2019. 

The new trial sites commencing on 24 July 2019 are:

  • emergency lane and bus lane along the Eastern Freeway (citybound side of the freeway) between the Chandler Highway and Hoddle Street
  • bus lane on Victoria Parade (citybound) between Hoddle Street and Nicholson Street
  • Hoddle Street and Victoria Parade intersection 

The eastbound bus lane on Victoria Parade will be included in the trial and announced soon.

This will enable motorcyclists to use the bus lane uninterrupted along sections of Victoria Parade, Hoddle Street and the Eastern Freeway. 

As part of this trial, we’ve introduced the following safety treatments:

  • 'watch for motorcycles in bus lane’ warning signs
  • motorcycle protection rails on guard rail
  • road surface repairs to the bus lanes
  • signage to allow motorcyclists to use the bus hook turn from Hoddle Street onto Victoria Parade.

We’ll monitor and evaluate the trial sites over the next five years.

For more information refer to the VicRoads Use of Bus Lanes by Other Modes Policy.

Who can use a bus lane?

  • Buses, bicycles and coaches are permitted under the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017 to travel in all bus lanes, unless signed otherwise.
  • Taxis and class VHA/B/C (hire cars) vehicles can only travel in bus lanes where signage indicates it is permitted.
  • Motorcycles can only travel in bus lanes where the signs indicate it is permitted.

Road Rule 158(1)(a) ‘Exceptions to driving in special purpose lanes etc.’ states that:
The driver of any vehicle may drive for up to the permitted distance (100m) in a…bus lane, if it is necessary for the driver to drive in the lane or enter or leave the road. 

When can motorcycles use these bus lanes?

Location Bus Lanes Hours 
Hoddle Street bus lane (southbound) between Eastern Freeway and Truro Street 24 hours, 7 days
Hoddle Street bus lane (southbound) between Truro Street and Victoria Parade 6–10am, Mon-Fri
Eastern Freeway emergency lane (citybound side of the freeway) between the Chandler Highway and Hoddle Street  7-10:30am, Mon-Fri 
Eastern Freeway bus lane (citybound side of the freeway) Hoddle Street  exit ramp  24 hours, 7 days 
Victoria Parade (citybound) bus lane between Hoddle Street and Nicholson Street  24 hours, 7 days 

What is a B-lantern?

A B-lantern is a traffic signal that allow buses to pass traffic queued at an intersection.  All permitted users of the bus lane can use the B-signal to proceed at intersections. 

Motorcycles are able to proceed on a B-lantern at intersections located on bus lanes where motorcycles are permitted. 

Can motorcycles use the bus lane to turn right (hook turn) from Hoddle Street into Victoria Parade heading westbound?

Yes. From 24 July 2019, motorcycles will be permitted to make a hook turn from 6am to 7pm.

Did the Hoddle Street bus lane motorcycle trial show any impact on bus operations by motorcycles using the bus lane?

Through video observations and feedback from bus operators on Hoddle Street, we found that the bus drivers were aware of motorcycles using the bus lane, but they had no effect on bus operations.

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