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Transit Stop Treatments:
Adapted from <i>Making Streets That Work</i>, Seattle, 1996

Good public transportation is as important to the quality of a community as good roads. Well-designed transit routes and accessible stops are essential to a usable system.

Bus stops should be located at intervals that are convenient for passengers. The stops should be designed to provide safe and convenient access and should be comfortable places for people to wait. Adequate bus stop signing, lighting, a bus shelter with seating, trash receptacles, and bicycle parking are also desirable features. Bus stops should be highly visible locations that pedestrians can reach easily by means of accessible travel routes. Therefore, a complete sidewalk system is essential to support a public transportation system. Convenient crossings are also important.

Proper placement of bus stops is key to user safety. For example, placing the bus stops on the near side of intersections or crosswalks may block the pedestrians’ view of approaching traffic, and the approaching drivers’ view of pedestrians. Approaching motorists may be unable to stop in time when a pedestrian steps from in front of a stopped bus into the traffic lanes at the intersection.

Far-side bus stops generally encourage pedestrians to cross behind the bus. Relocating the bus stop to the far side of the intersection can improve pedestrian safety since it eliminates the sight-distance restriction caused by the bus. Placing bus stops at the far side of intersections can also improve motor vehicle operation.

The bus stop location should be fully accessible to pedestrians in wheelchairs, should have paved connections to sidewalks where landscape buffers exist, and should not block pedestrian travel on the sidewalk. Adequate room should exist to operate wheelchair lifts. Yet, it is also useful to install curb ramps at bus stops so that a passenger can board from the street if bus-lift deployment is blocked. Additional information on making bus stops accessible can be found in Chapter 3 of Accessible Rights-of-Way: A Design Guide.7

Photo by Barbara Gray
The transit shelter above is in a lively commercial district. The shelter design reflects the surrounding architecture. Pedestrian-scale lighting and landscaping add visual interest and security.

• Provide safe, convenient, and inviting access for transit users.
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• Ensure that access to and from stops is provided when transit stops are created.
• Ensure adequate room to load wheelchairs.
• Ensure a clear and comfortable path for passing pedestrians when placing transit shelters.
• Locate transit stops on the far side of marked crosswalks.
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  Estimated Cost
$1,000 to $10,000. Cost varies widely depending on type of improvements.
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