The Bike/Bus Interface Study, prepared by LA Metro in 2018 serves as a companion document to the Study Report, which includes background and reference material.
- Metro initiated the Bike/Bus Interface Study in 2016 to examine the interactions between people riding bicycles and buses. It looked into how various road designs affect safety, operations, and user experience for both user group. The Study combined stakeholder input and data analysis to develop recommendations for improving bus operator training, bicycle safety education, and design guidelines for bus and bicycle infrastructure.
Bike/Bus Interface Study Report
- This report covers the research conducted, the analysis conclusions, and the training and education recommendations resulting from that analysis. The expected audience for this report includes transit agency staff (especially those working in operator training, service planning, and daily operations), municipal officials, city planners, transportation engineers, bicycle educators and advocates, and all those interested in topics related to transit and bicycle planning and traffic safety.
- Executive Summary
Full Report (w/o Appendices)
- Part I: Literature Review
- Part II: Before-After Analysis of Local Projects
- Part III: Bike-Bus Interface Training and Education
Bike/Bus Interaction on Our Streets: A Working Planning and Design Guidebook for Municipal Transportation Professionals.
- This design guidebook is intended to live alongside existing guidelines such as materials from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), providing additional insight into designing streets to better accommodate both buses and bicycles.
- In general, collisions involving bicycles declined after installation of bikeway facilities. There were very few documented collisions between bicyclists and buses despite increased bicycling, especially on shared bike-bus lanes (SBBLs). In contrast to perception of some operators, bus speeds and service reliability remained largely the same. Roadway designs that offer greater separation is favored by both people riding bicycles and bus operators.
- Early coordination with transit agencies and local bicycle interest groups can ensure design goals are met while supporting transit operations and safe bicycling. Bus operators can provide valuable input to improve design as they understand the specific needs of maneuvering on the street, especially at stops, and have daily first-hand experience and observations about the outcomes of design implementations.
Bus Operator Training
- Training should address bike-bus interactions such as passing distance, “door zone,” and managing interactions. Agencies can help operators understand the perspectives of riding bikes in traffic through practical bicycle riding exercises and/or video of bike-bus interaction. There needs to be more sharing of information about changing road infrastructure and bike-bus interaction among operators and between agencies.
Bicycle Safety Education
- Needs to address bike-bus interactions such as stay in view of side mirrors, communicate with eye contact and hand signals, and always pass on the left. Videos can effectively demonstrate the limited visibility and maneuverability of buses. Classes also needs to be provided where people are riding.
- 15 corridors were selected to represent a diversity of street typologies across LA County. The selection criteria encouraged a variety of street designs and prioritized streets with high numbers of buses and people on bicycles to ensure higher levels of interaction. The 15 corridors included 4 street treatment categories: standard bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, separated bikeways (also known as protected bike lanes), and shared bike-bus lanes (with bikes permitted).
Before/After Analysis Summaries by Treatment Type
- Separated Bikeway
- Buffered Bikeway
- Standard Bikeway
- Shared Bike-Bus Lane (SBBL)
- 18 months of research and outreach.
- City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT)
- City of Culver City
- Long Beach Transit
- City of West Hollywood
- City of Pasadena
- County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
- City of Santa Monica
- State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
- Foothill Transit
- Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
- Culver CityBus
- Big Blue Bus
- City of Long Beach
- Santa Monica Spoke
- Metro Operations Central Instruction (OCI)
Peer Review Board
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia
- King County Metro, Seattle
- City of Seattle
- San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SFMTA), San Francisco
- Working Group
- The study reviewed a range of approaches from around the world for designing streets to accommodate buses alongside bikes with a particular focus on how interactions can be made safer or avoided. Sources consulted include research papers, design guidance, and surveys of best practices from around the world, including from Australia, Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States.
Before/After Data Analysis
- Include corridor selection process
The 15 study corridors were selected based on a set of criteria including
- Length of corridor
- Date of infrastructure changes
- Geographic diversity
- Diversity of infrastructure
- Diversity and volume of transit and people riding bikes
- Stop diversity
The study examined several different factors on each corridor:
- Bus safety, operation, and ridership
- Bicycle volumes, safety, comfort, and behavior
- Traffic operations and safety
- The resulting before/after analysis provided findings that informed existing perceptions, study recommendations, and design strategies.
- 39 people on bicycles in focus groups
- 57 bus operators in focus groups
- 22 planners and engineers interviewed
- 4,200 online bicycle survey respondents
- Caltrans Design Information Bulletin 89: Class IV Bikeway Guidance
- Center for Regulation and Research (CROW) Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic
- FHWA Interim Approval for Optional Use of Green Colored Pavement for Bike Lanes
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide
- Los Angeles County Model Design Manual for Living Streets
- MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Planning & Design Guide
- Metro Transit Service Policies & Standards
- National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Transit Street Design Guide
- NACTO Transit Street Design Guide
- NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide
- TCRP Report 19: Guidelines for Location and Design of Bus Stops
- TCRP Report 183: A Guidebook on Transit-Supportive Roadway Strategies
- This design guidebook supplements existing design guidance by discussing specifically and explicitly how cities can plan for people on bicycles and buses on the same streets, both with design strategies and by strengthening coordination between cities and transit agencies.
- [Thumbnail of cover]
- This report covers existing best practices and literature, before/after corridor safety and operations analysis, and discussion of educational and training recommendations for bus operators and people on bicycles.
Download report using the following links:
- Report without Appendices
- Report with Appendices