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A bus turnout, bus pullout, bus bay, bus lay-by (UK), or off-line bus stop is a special zone on the side of the main roadway (or bus/tram lane) for primarily buses to stop for a designated bus stop in order to pick up and drop off passengers. The purpose of the bus turnout is avoid blocking a lane of traffic and to improve passenger safety during boarding and deboarding. Bus turnouts may also be the location of minor bus termini, and may be extended to accommodate bus stands.
Bus turnouts are most often lacking in cities with little or no usable right-of-way for their construction. In younger cities, particularly in the United States, where there is sufficient right-of-way bus turnouts are installed on roads either as part of upgrading the road or installed by requirement of the local government during development of the lot.
A disadvantage of bus turnouts is that buses must merge back into the flow of traffic after using the bus stop, which can cause delay to the bus. Although many jurisdictions worldwide have instituted yield to bus laws, motorist compliance with these laws is often non-existent.
In some jurisdictions, bus turnouts can be used as an emergency turnout for the general public to prevent blocking a lane of traffic. However, should a bus attempt to enter the turnout often those using the turnout must make way.
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