Vancouver taxis win access to bus lanes on one-year trial basis

Vancouver taxi customers should experience quicker, cheaper trips on congested routes, says the Vancouver Taxi Association, now that city council has approved a one-year trial to allow taxis to travel in bus lanes.

The pilot program  was an election commitment by Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was responding to a long-standing call for such action from taxi owners, who point out that similar rules are in place all over the world.

Here in Vancouver, however, riders would sit fuming in traffic while the bus lane next to them sat empty. Robertson secured a green light from provincial transport minister Blair Lekstrom and Translink is on board.

With more than 700,000 taxi trips a year in Vancouver, the impact could be significant. Where congestion is heavy, particularly downtown, taxis will be able to move into bus lanes, reducing travel times and trip costs.