Bus stop planning and design involves thinking about existing and new stops from both the macro framework of system design and the micro-level of conditions around the transit stop.
Many cities and transit agencies have developed internal guidelines to determine the appropriate spacing and design criteria for particular transit routes and stops.
At major bus stops, cities may enhance the experience of passengers and passers-by through the addition of shelters, benches, area maps, plantings, vendors, or artworks.
Surface bus routes, especially those without dedicated lanes, should have clearly marked bus stops that call attention to the stop and explain the route. Frequency and placement of the bus stops should serve the maximum number of destinations while minimizing delays.
There are generally three categories of bus stop locations:
Far side bus stops are the most common and are generally preferred by designers. They allow pedestrians to cross behind the bus, which is safer than crossing in front of the bus. On multi-lane roadways, they also increase the visibility of crossing pedestrians for drivers waiting at the signal.
Near-side bus stops should ideally be used in these circumstances:
Midblock bus stops require more space between parked cars and other barriers to allow for buses to enter and exit the stop, except where there is a bus bulb. They are recommended for:
“Bus Stop Guidelines,” (Portland: TriMet, 2012).
“Standards for Access, Non-Motorized, and Transit,” in Washtenaw County Access Management Plan (Ann Arbor: Michigan Department of Transportation 2008), 23.
Adapted from the Urban Street Design Guide, published by Island Press.