Today, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announces that ticketing for Phase 1 of the Clear Lanes program will begin on November 15, 2023. Clear Lanes, in partnership with Metro, aims to improve bus travel times and enhance bus stop safety and accessibility by using cameras mounted on Metrobuses to identify vehicles illegally operating, parking, standing, or stopping in dedicated bus lanes and bus zones. Photos of violating vehicles are sent to DDOT, which will verify a qualifying offense.
Starting on November 15, 2023, Phase 1 enforcement begins, in which drivers illegally parking, standing, or stopping in a bus zone (area around a bus stop) may receive a $100 fine. DDOT will announce a future date for dedicated bus lane enforcement as part of Phase 2 enforcement.
“Ensuring that buses can pull fully to the curb for boarding and avoid having to change lanes on our busiest corridors will improve the accessibility, safety, and reliability of our transit network,” said Interim DDOT Director Sharon Kershbaum. “These improvements are an important contribution to our moveDC plan to encourage drivers to make the shift to the bus.”
"Clear bus zones and lanes mean a more efficient trip for our customers as buses don't have to wait for traffic congestion,” said metro’s senior vice president of bus services Leroy Jones. “Not only does it save time and money, it also creates safer trips for customers and bus operators as they’ll navigate around fewer obstructions. We at Metro — and our bus customers — thank the District and DDOT for administering this vital program.”
DDOT offers the following guidance about bus lanes and zones:
Bus zones are areas along the curb within 80 feet of the approach side and 20 feet of the departure side of a bus stop flag, unless otherwise signed. Unauthorized vehicles should not stop, stand, or park in a bus stop zone except to avoid conflict with other traffic.
Authorized vehicles include the following:
- Public transit buses and school buses; and
- Maintenance vehicles (DC or Metro vehicles that are actively making repairs).
Bus lanes are lanes of roadway designated for the use of public transit buses, typically marked by red paint and signage. Many bus lanes are active only at certain times of the day, as indicated by signage.
Unauthorized vehicles should not stop, stand, or park in a bus lane or enter a bus lane except to:
- Enter a legal parking space;
- Pull over for emergency vehicles; or
- Turn within 40 feet of an intersection or driveway, as typically marked by signage or dashed red road markings.
- Authorized vehicles include the following:
- Public transit buses, tour buses, school buses, and streetcars;
- Bikes, e-bikes, and scooters;
- Maintenance vehicles (DC or Metro vehicles that are actively making repairs);
- Emergency vehicles (while responding to an emergency); and
- Accessible transportation service vehicles (wheelchair-accessible vehicles registered with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission that are actively transporting someone with a disability).
For more information about bus lane and bus zone enforcement and to view an interactive map of all dedicated bus lanes, visit ddot.dc.gov/clearlanesprogram. To learn more about DDOT’s work to improve bus travel times and reliability in all eight wards through Mayor Bowser’s Bus Priority Program, visit buspriority.ddot.dc.gov/pages/buslanes.