Transit priority solutions improve the speed and reliability of bus and streetcar service. Giving buses or streetcars priority on a street can be achieved through a range of solutions.

Transit priority solutions specific to each community will be identified for the roadways that score highest in the evaluation in Phase 3, through extensive study, design work and consultation with the public. The transit priority solutions for specific roadways are not being selected in the current phase (Phase 2).

Once implemented, the success of transit priority roadways will be determined by assessing bus reliability, travel times for buses and autos, average wait time for buses and positive impacts on equity.

Examples of priority solutions that may be implemented include:

Bus Bays

A bus stop that requires a bus to leave the travel lane to load and unload.

Bus Bulbs

An extension of a sidewalk that allows buses to load and unload without leaving the travel lane.

Far-Side Stops

Public transit stops are located after the intersection. This allows public transit vehicles to pass through a signalized intersection without stopping beforehand and potentially missing a green light cycle.

Near-Side Stops

Public transit stops that are located before an intersection. This allows public transit to take advantage of a red phase at a traffic signal in order to board and alight passengers.

Queue Bypass Lane

A dedicated public transit or turning lane that allows public transit vehicles to bypass traffic queues through a signalized intersection, typically with a  receiving lane on the other side of the intersection.

Queue Jump Lane

A dedicated public transit or turning lane at a signalized intersection that allows public transit vehicles to avoid traffic queues, typically with a bus-only traffic signal phase that allows buses to proceed ahead of general traffic.

Signs & Pavement Markings

Using road signs and pavement markings to clearly identify lanes that have restrictions and/or limited users. For example, high-occupancy vehicle or dedicated lanes are typically marked with a different kind of striping to make clear that the lane has limited users.

Traffic Signal Coordination

Provides vehicles with as many green signals as possible to ensure vehicles are able to travel quickly along a roadway. This minimizes travel time in the coordinated direction but needs to be carefully managed when two major roadways intersect.

Transit Signal Priority

Changes to traffic signal timings that reduce the time that public transit vehicles spend waiting at red lights.

A queue jump lane allows buses to manoeuvre around an extended through-traffic queue, load/unload passengers and proceed ahead of the general traffic queue.
Example of a queue jump lane paired with a near-side transit stop. Illustration: Metrolinx.
A queue by-pass lane allows buses to manoeuvre around an extended through-traffic queue, proceed through the intersection with assistance of transit signal priority, and load/unload on the far-side of an intersection in a receiving bus-only lane
Example of a bypass lane paired with a far-side transit stop. Illustration: Metrolinx.
Bus pulling into bus bulb with car behind it.
Example of a bus bulb. Illustration: Metrolinx.
Buses moving into bus bays to stop at a bus stop
Example of a bus bay. Illustration: Metrolinx.

Contra-Flow Bus Lanes

A dedicated transit lane for buses that travels in the opposite direction to adjacent traffic.

Curbside Bus Lanes

A dedicated outside lane beside the curb for bus use only.

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes

Lanes reserved for transit use or shared with bicycles, taxis and vehicles with three or more passengers. Lanes can be reserved full-time or only be reserved for specific times of the day or days of the week.

Offset Bus Lanes

A dedicated inside lane (i.e. not in the median or curb) for bus use only.

Transit Malls

A repurposed roadway, typically in downtown areas, that is used by public transit and closed off to general traffic.

A bus travelling on the RapidTO: Eglinton East Bus Lanes identifed by the red pavement paint and markings.
Example of a curbside bus lane: RapidTO: Eglinton East Bus Lanes (Toronto, ON).
A bus driving towards an intersection on an offset bus lane
Example of an offset bus lane, which allows for curbside parking or loading: Webster Avenue in the Bronx (New York, NY). Photo: Metrolinx.
25B Don Mills bus travelling in the HOV lanes on Don Mills Road. Other vehicles are travelling in the same direction, adjacent to the curb lane that the HOV lane is using.
Example of an HOV lane: Don Mills Rd / Overlea Blvd / Pape Ave, between Finch Ave E and Danforth Ave (Toronto, ON).
People boarding/alighting a streetcar on King Street
Example of transit mall: King Street Transit Priority Corridor (Toronto, ON).