Traffic Rules for Buses and Minibuses

When driving a bus or minibus, you must follow most of the traffic rules. However, some rules are specific to driving a bus or minibus.


A bus is a motor vehicle, equipped and used primarily for the transportation of more than nine occupants at a time. A bus may be equipped with wheelchair tie-down devices.

The minibus is equipped with five or fewer rows of seats for the transportation of more than nine occupants at a time. A minibus may be equipped with wheelchair tie-down devices.

Passengers Pick-Up and Drop-Off

To get passengers on and off, you must stop either:

  • on the far right side of the road;
  • on the shoulder of the road;
  • in the designated areas.

However, you must ensure that it is safe to do so and that the shoulder on which you wish to stop your vehicle, if any, is in good condition before performing your manoeuvre.

Also, you may not stop your vehicle in a bike lane.

To re-enter the lane, you must activate your turn signals and then make sure it is safe to do so.

Reserved Lanes

Reserved lanes may only be used by buses, minibuses, taxis, electric vehicles and high-occupancy vehicles (carpools) as indicated on signage.

When, for example, the following sign appears, you can drive in a lane reserved for certain categories of road vehicles.

When you see a sign like the one below, you can drive in a reserved lane on a shoulder.

In addition, there are special rules for authorized buses on certain shoulders This hyperlink will open in a new window. [page in French only].

Places Where Traffic is Prohibited

Depending on the vehicle you are driving, you may not be able to drive on public roads when signs prohibit it.

It is also forbidden to drive on a bridge or overpass if your bus exceeds the weight limit indicated on the sign.

For example, the following sign can be installed at a bridge or overpass entrance to indicate the maximum weight allowed. It applies to the vehicles shown on the sign as well as the buses.

In addition, you can refer to the Répertoire des limitations de poids This hyperlink will open in a new window. (weight limitation directory) for information on structures managed by the ministère des Transports that have a limited load-bearing capacity.

Bus Lights

When you encounter a bus light, you may proceed in the authorized direction, making sure it is safe to do so. This manoeuvre may involve a lane change at an intersection.

The table below illustrates the meaning of the bus lights. A comparison with traffic lights is provided for ease of understanding.

Type of lights





Straight ahead

All movements

Bus lights

Traffic lights

At a Level Crossing

You must stop your vehicle at least 5 metres from the level crossing, except where a sign indicates that you are not required to stop. You can then continue on your way once you are sure it is safe to do so.

For Transportation of School Children

In addition to the rules outlined above, some other rules apply only to the drivers of buses and minibuses used to transport school children.

Before setting your vehicle in motion, you must ensure that everyone is seated. You must also ensure that passengers remain seated throughout the trip.

When stopping to pick up or drop off passengers, you must turn on your flashing red lights and activate the mandatory stop signal, except when the passengers are exclusively in wheelchairs. These devices must be activated until passengers are safe. You must also do these manoeuvres when you are stopped in a line of buses or minibuses used to transport schoolchildren and one of the drivers of the vehicles in front of you is getting people on or off.

You may not activate your flashing red lights and the mandatory stop signal under any circumstances other than those listed above.

Last update: December 6, 2023


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