Here at LYT, we have shared extensively about the public transportation sector, specifically relating to public bus transit.
Whether helping public transportation in cities with advanced technology to assist in transit signal priority or simply sharing trends regarding the future of electric buses, we make a valiant effort to cover it all!
In an attempt to make cities more innovative, more efficient, and greener – sharing information regarding ways to create efficiency for all while saving taxpayers’ dollars is a top priority for the team here at LYT.
Most transit bus riders may not care about the types of bus stops, but they do care about arriving on time and being able to rely on public transportation. For transit planners and agency officials, there are several metrics used to measure the overall efficiency of their public transit agencies:
- Arrival times and staying on schedule
- Fleet utilization
Today, we will share the most common types of bus stops and the trend towards more efficient stops that help mitigate accidents while promoting efficiency.
6 Common Types of City Bus Stops
Below are a few examples of the most common types of bus stops, including current trends increasing city safety and efficiency.
1. In-Lane Bus Stop
If you have seen a bus stop, pick people up from the sidewalk, then continue on its route. This is a standard in-lane bus stop on the sidewalk.
Pros of in-lane sidewalk bus stops include being easily buildable or movable. They also reduce the amount of time the bus needs to spend weaving in and out of traffic. The downside is that they can clog up cars behind it and contribute to wrecks due to vehicles suddenly stopping or swerving to get around the stopped bus ahead.
2. Bus Lane Only Stop
The in-stream, bus-only lane stop is the most efficient and safest bus stop. Why?
For starters, bus lane-only stops are precisely what you might be envisioning. During designated times or permanently, these lanes are reserved for buses, which lower the chances of accidents.
Typically painted in red and marked with “Bus Lane Only” labels, these lanes keep traffic flowing and public buses don’t have to worry about merging and reemerging into heavy traffic.
3. Pull-Out Stops
Similar to a standard sidewalk stop, the key difference is that pull-out stops are designated areas where buses can safely pull over for boarding and unloading. This allows the traffic behind the bus to keep flowing.
Once the bus is done with loading, it merges back into the traffic lanes to proceed to the next stop. Unfortunately, the bus must pull in and out of the traffic stream, necessitating time to be added to the schedule to accommodate the delays caused by waiting for space to merge back in.
4. Boarding Lanes
Boarding lanes are commonly found at airports or transportation hubs where designated pull-off spots are created for buses to load and unload passengers. These bus stops are commonly found at train stations or large hubs where many passengers load and unload. The pros to these stops are that they’re generally safer and can take their time loading.
5. Center Island Stops
An center island-style bus stop might seem a bit ineffective because traffic is now on both sides of the stop, but the center lane stop approach is actually very efficient and even safer than you might imagine.
Using the island, a dedicated area is provided for passengers to wait, load, and unload, and the center lane happens to be the lane of most minor conflict since cars are not turning. More advanced center island stops also feature payment kiosks on the island. The downside is these require a substantial build-out, planning, and crosswalks to make it all work — requiring pedestrians to cross the street to get to their stop.
6. Transit Stops & Boarding Lanes
Boarding lanes are often found at more significant travel hubs or airports to promote transfer efficiency. These lanes reduce conflict points and allow for buses to reenter traffic via a bus-only lane. By utilizing this bus stop, riders are able to safely board but also quickly board the correct bus to ensure they reach the correct destination. As with island and centralized boarding platforms, more advanced deployments also allow for riders to pre-pay for their ride prior to boarding. Doing so allows for all-door boarding, which reduces queueing and bottlenecks at a single boarding doors.
Looking for a bus stop in your city? Follow these steps:
If you ended up on this article because you are public transit rider looking for a bus stop, here is how you can find a bus stop:
- First, you can simply search “Bus stops near me.”
- Second, download an app such as Transportr or your local city might have a bus app to download
- Last, in some cases, you can even schedule a stop depending on your location!
Solutions for Bus Stops & Public Buses
In an effort to find creative ways to effectively curb traffic issues, promote public transportation use, and promote safety – strategically developing smarter bus stops has come into play.
However, it is only one piece of the puzzle.
Leveraging smart bus stops combined with superior routing technology has made public bus transit more efficient. This efficiency can speed up travel times, reduce routing problems, and save money for operators/bus costs.
Lane queue jumps and transit priority technology is making public transit more reliable and more efficient. To learn more about actionable steps your city should take toward utilizing transit priority technology, be sure to schedule a demo call with the team here at LYT!