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 demerit point and a fine of $319. 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
Bus only lanes are 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 lanes are sign-posted or marked as bus lanes. They are provided primarily for buses, but can also be used by:
- 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.
Sydney metropolitan bus lane locations
Major metropolitan bus lanes include:
- Parramatta Road from Leichhardt to Broadway
- Warringah Freeway, North Sydney and Military Road, Neutral Bay
- Oxford Street, Darlinghurst and the Moore Park Busway
- The M2 Motorway - Bus Only Lane (taxis and hire cars permitted eastbound between Windsor Road and Beecroft Road)
- Holker Street, Homebush Bay
- Elizabeth, George and York streets, Sydney
- Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation, Balgowlah and Manly Road, Balgowlah
- Fairford Road from Gow Street to Stacey Street, Bankstown
- Victoria Road from Weaver Street to Hepburn Avenue, Gladesville
- Victoria Road from Park Street to Patricia Street, Rydalmere
- Victoria Road from Terry Street to The Cresent, Rozelle (will operate from Monday 14 December 2009)
Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA) bus lanes
Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA) bus lanes include:
- Church Street northbound on approach to Victoria Road intersection
- Station Street northbound from eastern bus layover to Civic Place
- Smith Street northbound from Macquarie Street to Phillip Street
- Smith Street southbound from Macquarie Street to Darcy Street
- Argyle Street westbound from Marsden Street to O’Connell Street
Bus and bus only lane
- Pitt Street southbound from Great Western Highway to Argyle Street
Bus only lanes
- Argyle Street westbound from Church Street to Marsden Street and O’Connell Street to Pitt Street
- Argyle Street eastbound from Church Street to Pitt Street
- Pitt Street southbound from Argyle Street to Great Western Highway
- Smith Street southbound from Darcy Street to Hassall Street
- Station Street northbound from Parramatta Transport Interchange to eastern bus layover
- Smith Street northbound from Civic Place to Macquarie Street
- Park Parade eastbound from Westmead Railway Station to Pitt Street
Church Street northbound, North Parramatta
- Grose Street to Albert Street
- Albert Street to Barney Street
- Barney Street to North Rocks Road
Bus only lane
- The Junction shopping precinct access road to Briens Road
Windsor Road - Winston Hills to Northmead
- Churchill Drive, Winston Hills to Fletcher Street
- Churchill Drive eastbound from Yarrabee Road to Windsor Road
Victoria Road - Parramatta to Ermington
Bus lanes and bus early start (B signal)
- Victoria Road westbound at off-load ramp from James Ruse Drive
- Victoria Road westbound opposite to entry of University of Western Sydney Rydalmere campus
- Victoria Road eastbound from Spurway Street to Kissing Point Road
- Victoria Road westbound from Patricia Street to Park Road
Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford
Bus only lanes and early start (B signal)
- Pennant Hills Road northbound on approach to Jenkins Road
- Pennant Hills Road southbound on approach to Marsden Road
Newcastle bus lane locations
- Hunter Street, westbound at Tudor Street, Newcastle West.
- Lambton Road, westbound at Broadmeadow Road, Broadmeadow.
- Lambton Road, eastbound at Turton Road, Lambton.
- Newcastle Road, westbound at Blue Gum Road, Jesmond.
- Newcastle Road, east of Hill Street, Jesmond.
- Maitland Road at Newcastle TAFE, Tighes Hill.
- University Drive, westbound at Stannett Street, Callaghan.
- Pacific Highway, southbound at Ntaba Road, Jewells.
- Pacific Highway and Marks Point Road, Marks Point.
- Pacific Highway, northbound at Groves Road, Bennetts Green.
Central Coast bus lane locations
- The Entrance Road, westbound at Avoca Drive, Erina.
- The Entrance Road, westbound at Pitt Road, Wamberal.
- Pacific Highway, southbound at Chamberlain Road, Lisarow.
- Pacific Highway, southbound between Cutler Drive and Wyong Station, Wyong.
- Right Turn lane into Roper Road at Blue Haven.
CBD bus lanes and times
Bus lane operating times are being extended as part of the NSW Government’s Sydney CBD Bus Strategy to improve bus travel in the city.
Bus lane times will generally operate from 6am (30 minutes earlier) to 10am (30 minutes later) and from 3pm (30 minutes earlier) to 8pm (1½ hours later) Monday to Friday.
However, as some bus lane operating times may vary, please check the bus lane signs to make sure that you are not travelling illegally.
Travelling illegally in a bus lane incurs a $311 fine and 1 demerit points.
Bus lane operating times in Sydney CBD
- Valentine Street to Goulburn Street Northbound 6am - 10am, 3pm - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Liverpool Street to Bathurst Street Northbound 6am - 10am 3pm - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Druitt Street to Market Street Northbound 24 hours
- Market Street to Grosvenor Street Northbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Sun)
- Bridge Street to Market Street Southbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Sun)
- Park Street to Bathurst Street Southbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Bathurst Street to Valentine Street Southbound Change to 6 am - 10 am, 3 pm - 8 pm (Mon - Fri)
- Liverpool Street to Market Street Northbound 6am - 10am 3pm - 8pm (Mon-Fri)
- Bathurst Street to Liverpool Street Southbound 6 am - 10 am, 3 pm - 8 pm (Mon – Fri)
- Market Street to Barrack Street Northbound 9.30am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Barrack Street to Jamison Street Northbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Grosvenor Street to Barrack Street Southbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- Barrack Street to King Street Southbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
- King Street to Druitt Street Southbound 6am - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
Note: Bus lane times operating in Castlereagh Street and Pitt Street will remain unchanged.
Bus lane cameras
Bus lane cameras help reduce illegal use of bus lanes. If you are caught driving illegally in a bus or T-way lane by the cameras you will receive an infringement notice.
The road rules allow any vehicle to use bus lanes for a maximum of 100 metres to enter or leave a side street or property. If an unauthorised vehicle travels in a bus lane camera zone for longer than the allowed distance, details of the vehicle will be recorded.
Only authorised vehicles can use the T-way lanes.
How the cameras work
A bus lane camera zone consists of two digital cameras installed beside a bus lane and mounted more than 100 metres apart. The camera can read the number plate of any vehicle using these lanes. If both cameras detect the same number plate within an expected time period and the vehicle is not authorised to be in the lane, a potential infringement is generated.
The cameras take two photos each – a wide-angle shot to put the situation in context and another of the vehicle’s number plate. Images of exempt vehicles such as buses, taxis and motorcycles will be removed during the process.
T-way lanes have one enforcement camera installed beside the lane as only authorised vehicles may use dedicated T-way lanes. Three images are collected of any unauthorised vehicles using a T-way lane.