In an effort to ease traffic congestion, promote the use of shared vehicles and improve air quality, some large cities allow inbound and outbound city traffic to use high-occupancy vehicles lanes, known here as VAO or Bus-VAO lanes.
Here we outline what these high-occupancy vehicle (VAO or Bus-VAO) lanes consist of and how you can benefit if you drive a vehicle with an environmental badge.
How do the lanes work?
These lanes give priority to vehicles with multiple occupants and to public transport. In large urban areas they can be found on access and exit roads to help traffic flow, reduce congestion and cut pollutant gas emissions.
What vehicles can use them?
Vehicles with at least two occupants (including the driver) and not exceeding 3,500 kilos in weight can use the lanes. As an exception, cars with reduced mobility badges, vans with V15 badges, buses, public services vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles, taxis and car-sharing vehicles can use the lanes without a minimum of two occupants.
Motorbikes, mopeds and motorised trikes can also use VAO lanes, providing they are carrying two people. Motorbikes with a reduced mobility badge can be ridden in the lanes with just the rider alone.
And if your vehicle has an environmental badge?
Vehicles with 0 and ECO badges can use the VAO lanes without a minimum number of occupants. Vehicles with class C badges (Euro 6 petrol only) can use the, if they are carrying at least two people.
Where can you find Bus-VAO lanes into and out of Barcelona?
You can find a two-way Bus-VAO lane on the C-58 along a 6 km stretch between Ripollet and Av. Meridiana. Since it opened in 2014, the lane has been open around the clock, every day of the year, for vehicles complying with the requisites.
The Bus-VAO lane on the C-31 can be found between Badalona sud and Badalona nord, along the inbound traffic lanes for Barcelona. It is permanently open for vehicles that meet the requisites to use it.
Vehicles which use a Bus-VAO lane without meeting the requisites can be fined up to 200 euros for a serious infringement.
We can all promote sustainable mobility
If you have a motor vehicle, remember you can take advantage of VAO high-occupancy vehicle lanes if you share your journey with another person. If you have an electric vehicle, use it to get around the city. This way you will help promote safer and more environmentally sustainable transport.
Remember that the Endolla network offers you over 600 electric charging points, evenly distributed around the whole city, making it easy for you to charge your vehicle.