A dedicated bus-and-bike lane is opening on Fourth Street in uptown Monday, Dec. 16. The pilot project is a partnership between CATS and the Charlotte Department of Transportation. Speaking on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks, CATS CEO John Lewis said the pilot is meant to improve travel times for buses.
"Even if we get frequency down to 15 minutes between buses, if they’re stuck in the same traffic that everyone else is, you lose reliability," Lewis said. "And so we are piloting on Monday, our first bus-only lane that will begin to give our bus system the reliability that our trains have."
Cyclists and people on e-scooters will also be allowed to use the pilot lane. On Monday, CDOT workers will begin widening the lane, which is currently a bike lane and a travel lane for cars, and will add new markings. CDOT will also add signage to show the new lane is not meant for car traffic.
CATS says buses on 21 of its routes will use the pilot lane. The transit authority plans to collect data to see if the lane saves time on bus routes.
CDOT also is building two "floating bus stops" along parts of Fourth Street for CATS buses to use. These stops create a raised island for passengers to wait for the bus along the curb while also giving cyclists a lane to pass through the stop.
According to a CDOT spokesperson, the first floating bus stop at the corner of Fourth Street and Church Street opened on Oct. 7, 2019, and the second, on Fourth Street and North Tryon Street, will open in spring 2020.