ONLY Motorcycles: Motorcycle Lane, Bus-Taxi and Space at Traffic Lights

One of the various solutions that could be applied to help relieve congestion in large cities is to encourage the use of two-wheeled vehicles . In this case without distinctions, both bicycles and motorcycles . Because let’s face it, public transport is not always as efficient as we would like (we would have to learn from Japan, for example). However, in the case of long distances, the bicycle is not a solution and that is why motorcycles in general and scooters in particular are a good solution.

Starting from that and adding areas reserved exclusively for motorcycles, we obtain a very interesting mix that could encourage switching from cars to motorcycles in many cities. Let’s see which areas are available exclusively for bikers:

Index of contents

Areas enabled at traffic lights

spaces highway motorcycles traffic light In some cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, ​​there have been some areas set aside for motorcycles at traffic lights for a long time . It is a space in which motorcycles can be located before the green light appears. In this way, traffic is streamlined, since motorcycles can start moving more quickly, facilitating circulation. But to get to them it is essential to circulate between the cars when they are stopped. And curiously it is something that is not very well seen by some drivers even if we do it at reduced speed and it is perfectly legal .

bus-taxi lane

spaces road motorcycle lane bus taxi

One of the issues that generates the most doubts among motorists is whether or not it is possible to legally circulate in the lane set up for bus-taxi . Currently, in Spain, there is no common legislation that regulates circulation through these spaces on public roads. However, in some provinces and autonomous communities, there are already public ordinances that organize this matter .

London is a city that serves as a reference for this matter. In 2012, motorcycles were authorized to circulate on the bus lane , after a testing period that lasted a total of three years . The London Transport Corporation points out that the benefits “ include reduced travel time for motorcyclists and lower carbon dioxide emissions. The safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users is not affected .”

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If we look at our cities, we can see that the regulations in force are not uniform for all . Here we analyze those cities that have spoken on this issue :

spaces road motorcycle lane bus taxi Madrid

Since 2006, the Community of Madrid allows motorcycles with a displacement greater than 50cc to circulate in the bus/taxi lane . The measure is part of the specific plan ‘ Move around Madrid by Motorcycle ‘, a project of the Community of Madrid to promote the use of this means of transport, which aims to make profitable ‘the available road’ and guarantee ‘ maximum efficiency and safety for the driver of this vehicle’.


In 2011 , the legal circulation of motorcycles in this lane was expressly prohibited . The measure was approved after a meeting of the Town Planning Commission that presented a study by the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC) that advised against its approval because they argued that the measure could increase the accident rate . Specifically, they claimed that, in a city like Barcelona, ​​the increase in speed would be 11%, which would not compensate for the up to 37% increase in accidents. To obtain these figures, the city of London was taken as a reference, where an increase in accidents was recorded in past experiences that allowed motorcycles to circulate through the exclusive lanes for buses and taxis. Failure to comply with this rule in BarcelonaIt can lead to fines of up to 90 euros .

It must be borne in mind that Barcelona is one of the European cities with the highest fleet of motorcycles . In January 2013, the possibility of creating a special lane only for motorcycles was studied, although nothing further has been done since then.


In March 2013 , the Valencia City Council approved the circulation of motorcycles and mopeds (in Madrid this measure excludes mopeds). The head of the Transport and Circulation service argued that this measure will make it possible to obtain maximum performance from the available roads’ and ‘will promote the use of motorcycles as a means of transport’. One fact: in Valencia there are 78,736 motorcycles and mopeds .

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In December 2012 , the circulation of motorcycles and mopeds in the bus lane was approved , a measure included in a mobility and safety plan by the Seville City Council. In addition, it was agreed to extend the kilometers of this type of lane in the city.

Palma de Mallorca

Since 2009, a municipal decree of the Palma City Council authorizes the circulation of motorcycles and mopeds .


One of the last cities that have joined this measure has been Vigo. In July 2013 , the circulation of motorcycles was approved .

In short, as of today there is no general consensus for all cities . Some perceive it as a regulation that speeds up traffic in the city, as is the case in Madrid, while others, like Barcelona, ​​see the measure more as a problem that increases the accident rate .

This issue is not without controversy . Some groups of taxi drivers and bus drivers reject the measure because they say that it creates more problems than solutions, while motorist associations think the opposite , affirming that it speeds up movement around the city.

Bus-vao lane

spaces road motorcycle lane bus vao

Although driver’s manuals have been populated with what is studied in driving schools for some time now, HOV lanes are still a rarity on our roads. They are based on the need to rationalize the transport of people to the big cities, although at the moment they are only implemented at the entrances to Madrid, while in Barcelona the works are halfway through and the Ministry of Industry proposes to provide this type of lanes to any Spanish city with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

The idea behind the HOV lane is to eliminate vehicles in cities . If a car is occupied by a single person, for five people to arrive in the city you have to shoehorn five vehicles. If instead we encourage people to fill up the cars, there will be fewer vehicles inside the city. And if we give these vehicles a specific lane that can go faster than the others, we will have the motivation served.

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HOV lanes , therefore, owe their name to the fact that they are lanes for vehicles with high occupancy . A minimum number of occupants is set, the lane is marked explaining how many people must travel on board the vehicle to be able to use the lane and whoever complies with it can march through the HOV lane , which is more agile than the others. Let’s see, as an idea it is impeccable. The number of vehicles is reduced without eliminating the flexibility provided by private transportation. What more could you want?

By law, the use of the HOV lane is limited to:

motorcycles , passenger cars and adaptable mixed vehicles, and is therefore prohibited for the rest of the vehicles and groups of vehicles, including passenger cars with a trailer, as well as pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, animal-drawn vehicles and animals.

In Madrid it is possible to enter the east lane with a motorcycle with a minimum of 125cc. This measure, approved on November 7, 2006, was adopted by the Madrid City Council together with the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT).

motorcycle lane

spaces road motorcycle lane motorcycle vigo

To avoid “crashes” between motorcycles and cars, the motorcycle lane was born. It is treated as its own name indicates: An additional lane 75 meters long and approximately 1.3 meters wide that will allow motorcycle drivers to reach the area ahead of the traffic lights without danger to them or to other drivers. .

Of course, this lane cannot be created on any road, since it must have very special characteristics in terms of width and lanes. But it is a good pilot initiative that we hope will be repeated in other cities.

We hope these initiatives serve to increase the safety of bikers, motorists and pedestrians, so welcome!

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