Dedicated center transit lanes are highly applicable to center-running streetcars and light rail lines, including both new and existing rail lines.
Center transit lanes can be applied as part of the implementation of a BRT line or other bus improvements, on any bus routes with suitable stations.
Center transit lanes can be applied to both bus and rail lines where traffic congestion affects reliability, and are often more effective than right-side lanes.
Center-running lanes serve buses and streetcars at potentially very high capacity and volume, while improving the pedestrian and passenger experience of the street.
Center transit lanes eliminate conflicts with drop-offs, deliveries, or illegal parking along the roadway edge, as well as with bicyclists and some turning movements. Combined with left turn restrictions or leading transit intervals, and all-door boarding, center transit lanes address a wide variety of sources of transit delay.
Center transit lanes can have an impact similar to that of a transitway, but does not require as much investment, time, or space to implement.
Existing center-running streetcar routes can achieve safety and travel time benefits from dedicated infrastructure.
Complementary treatments include stop consolidation, all-door boarding, and transit signal priority.
Intersections require turning provisions to avoid conflicts with the through movements of transit vehicles. A combination of self-enforcing design and enforcement, ideally automated, is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of dedicated center bus lanes.
Stops for center lanes may need more street space than curbside lanes, since boarding islands must be placed in the street. Generally a minimum width of 28 feet is needed for transit lanes and stations at stop locations, and 22–24 feet in other sections.
Platform configuration must be compatible with transit vehicle characteristics—left-side boarding buses may be more expensive to procure.
Center platforms may reduce overall space occupied by stations, though side-boarding islands can have space benefits when stations are split across an intersection.
Right-boarding BRT stations allow the use of typical rolling stock, which often run on streets without dedicated lanes at the beginning or ends of their routes.