Using bus lanes

More bus lanes are being provided on Sydney roads to improve the reliability and efficiency of bus services.

Motorists need to be aware of the road rules for when they can and cannot use bus lanes safely and legally.

What you need to know

Illegal use of a bus lane incurs one licence demerit point and a fine of $304. It is illegal for private vehicles to stop or pick up or set down passengers in a bus lane.

To remind drivers to observe road rules applying to bus lanes, bus lanes are:

  • coloured red, or
  • marked with red patches, or
  • sign-posted at intervals.

A white line generally separates a bus lane from a general traffic lane.

Watch for signs showing when the bus lanes operate. Some bus lanes operate 24 hours a day. Some operate only in the morning or evening traffic peaks from Monday to Friday.

Two types of bus lane

Two types of lane are provided for buses. They are bus only lanes, or bus lanes:

Bus only lane

  •  For the exclusive use of buses.

Bus only lanes are sign-posted or marked as bus only lanes. No other vehicles are permitted to travel or stop in a bus-only lane. The only exceptions are authorised special purpose vehicles. A continuous white line generally separates a bus only lane from a general traffic lane.

Intersections incorporating a bus only lane generally display a "B" on the traffic signals to give buses priority over general traffic.

Bus lane

Bus lanes are sign-posted or marked as bus lanes. They are provided primarily for buses, but can also be used by:

  • Taxis.
  • Hire cars (but not rental cars).
  • Motorcycles and bicycles.
  • Emergency vehicles.
  • Special purpose vehicles and vehicles also operated by or under the direction of Roads and Maritime Services.

General traffic is also permitted to travel in a bus lane for up to 100 metres to:

  • Turn left or right into or out of a street.
  • Enter or leave a property adjacent to the bus lane.
  • Pass another vehicle that has stopped to turn right or to avoid an obstruction.

What to do when turning left:

At bus-only lanes

  • Vehicles turning left must turn from the traffic lane next to the bus-only lane.
  • Vehicle left turn movements are NOT permitted from bus only lanes.

Click on the animations below for a demonstration on the correct and incorrect way to turn left at bus lanes. 

Turning left at bus only lanes - scenario 1 - correct use
View the video

(420kb) (duration: 15secs).

Turning left at bus only lanes - scenario 2 - correct use
View the video

(420kb) (duration: 15secs).

At bus lanes

Drivers turning left to enter a street, property or intersection can enter a bus lane up to 100 metres from where they intend to turn.  This also applies when entering a road with a bus lane.

Turning left from the traffic lane next to the bus lane is NOT permitted and could result in your vehicle being hit by a bus travelling in the bus lane.

Click on the animations below for a demonstration on the correct and incorrect way to turn left at bus lanes.

Turning left at bus lanes - scenario 1 - correct use
View the video

(420kb) (duration: 15secs).

Click on the link below to see a drive through of the proposed bus and general traffic lane configuration through Drummoyne and Rozelle and the new bridge over Iron Cove.

NOTE: TO VIEW THE VIDEOS YOU WILL NEED FLASH 8 OR ABOVE. Click here  download the latest Adobe Flash player.

Videos are best viewed with a high speed (broadband) Internet connection. Users with a lower speed connection (dial-up) may experience delays when viewing the videos.