In Quebec, a 15-passenger van requires a mini-bus licence. https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/road-safety/modes-transportation/in-a-fifteen-passenger-van/what-the-law-says/

So I'm wondering if 15-passenger vans are allowed to use the bus lanes in Montreal, specifically. Of particular interest would be the Champlain Bridge bus lane.

I know that Aeronavette from Sherbrooke to Pierre Elliott Trudeau uses 15-passenger vans, but I've never seen one on the bus lane to my memory. https://aeronavette.ca

I'm also pretty sure that the Greyhound buses (full buses) do use that lane, so I think it's not restricted to the Montreal Transportation system.

So are 15-passenger vans allowed to use the bus lanes, and if so, what are the requirements (example minimum passengers, commercial usage, etc.)

2 Answers 2


The Quebec Highway Safety Code contains the following definitions (italics mine):

  • “bus” means a motor vehicle, other than a minibus, designed for the transportation of more than nine occupants at a time and used mainly for that purpose or equipped with devices to secure wheelchairs against movement;


  • “minibus” means a motor vehicle having two axles with single wheels and equipped with not more than five rows of seats for the transportation of more than nine occupants at a time, or equipped with devices to secure wheelchairs against movement;

As the law distinguishes between a "bus" and a "minibus" in this way — in particular, a "minibus" is specifically not a "bus" under the Code — I suspect that minibuses would not be allowed in lanes reserved for "buses" only.

  • 2
    I tried to up-vote (I don't have sufficient reputation) because this does make sense, but since cities (I'm not sure about Montreal per se) have minibuses for their transport, it would surprise me if these were excluded from using the bus lane.
    – user7964
    Oct 22, 2017 at 14:37
  • 8
    Even if you quote the legal definition of 'bus' and 'minibus' here, it does not really answer the question wether a minibus is allowed to use the reserved lanes or not. Oct 22, 2017 at 16:20
  • 7
    But bus lanes are not covered in that code, so its definition of bus may not be relevant.
    – phoog
    Oct 22, 2017 at 16:22
  • @FedericoPoloni no – minibuses have also more than 9 seats, and are excluded from being buses. Oct 22, 2017 at 21:35
  • 5
    The fact that specific definitions are used in one statute doesn't mean the same definitions hold true in statutes from a different authority. City bylaws about bus lanes don't seem to ever address the definitions.
    – barbecue
    Oct 22, 2017 at 22:30

There reserved lanes are not just for buses. Taxis are allowed too. Here is the official statement which is valid for the greater Montreal region.

As you can see, it does not say minibus which are a different category of vehicle. Considering that a taxi as bus is allowed but both are commercial passenger vehicles, I would be very surprised if they would fine a minibus for using that lane. On some lanes, even private carpools are allowed, although those are clearly marked with a carpool sign in addition to the usual diamond shape.

  • I have up-voted because this makes a lot of sense. However, minibuses are by default commercial vehicles as well, and must have an "A" plate just like buses. There are certain exceptions when using them as personal vehicles, but that's not the default. Also some cities (I'm not sure about Montreal per se) use minibuses as well, and I'd be surprised if they were not allowed in the bus lane in that case. Your sentence about "taxi as bus is allowed" is a little unclear to me.
    – user7964
    Oct 22, 2017 at 18:18
  • Sorry: I read your sentence wrong. I thought you said "would be fine" instead of "would fine". So you're saying that you suspect it would be OK? Regardless, I'd like to be able to get some official documents to prove it one way or the other.
    – user7964
    Oct 22, 2017 at 18:22
  • Yes. I do feel it would be OK since those are intended for speeding up public transport which I think a minibus shuttle would count.
    – Itai
    Oct 22, 2017 at 20:19
  • OK. Thanks! I just wish I could find some official source for this.
    – user7964
    Oct 22, 2017 at 20:45

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