While riders have been safely using bus lanes in NSW, the ACT and several major cities around the world for several years, Victoria is still in a protracted trial phase and other states lag even further behind.
In February, the Victorian Government announced that riders could use more bus lanes in Melbourne for the next five years, then stalled … until now.
“These two facts alone should support permanent use of bus (excluding bus-only) Lanes within Victoria.
“We look forward to the new trial being foreshortened from the current five years and to more bus lanes being made available for the convenience of all road users by the reduced congestion benefits thus afforded.”
As part of the Victorian bus lane trial, the following “safety treatments” will be included:
“Watch for motorcycles in bus lane” warning signs;
Motorcycle protection rails on guard rail;
Road surface repairs to the bus lanes; and
Signage to allow motorcyclists to use the bus hook turn from Hoddle Street on to Victoria Parade.
VicRoads will monitor and evaluate the trial sites over the next five years.
New South Wales: motorcycles, bicycles, taxis, public hire cars, emergency services vehicles and, of course, buses are permitted in bus lanes, unless they are marked as ‘bus only’;
Queensland: bus lanes are for the use of buses, bicycles, taxis, limousines and emergency vehicles;
South Australia: buses and emergency vehicles can use bus lanes, while bicycles and taxis are also allowed into bus lanes during the times marked on the signs;
Tasmania: bus lanes are reserved for buses and service vehicles, as well as taxi drivers who are picking up and dropping off passengers. Other vehicles can only use the bus lanes if signs permit;
Victoria: bus lanes are for buses, emergency vehicles and taxi drop-off/pick-up only, unless otherwise marked. See the details above for bus lane trials;
Western Australia: bus lanes and busways are open only to buses and emergency vehicles unless otherwise marked. A trial was undertaken to allow motorbikes and taxis into the bus lanes on two major Perth roads, but no further information has been released about its success or next steps.