- For other meanings, see Bus stop (disambiguation).
A bus stop is a designated place where a public transport bus stops for the purpose of allowing passengers to board or leave the bus. They range from the simplest kind with just an indicating sign (using either "bus stop" or a pictogram/logo), up to through mid-rnage types with can be a post with special colouring or other marks identifying it as a bus stop; however, line numbers and/or destinations are often indicated. The times the bus departs may be given, or the whole timetable for the lines involved. A map of the bus lines and tariff information may be provided. Electronic signs may be present to tell real-time when the next bus will come, regardless of schedules; NextBus is one such system. An innovation in London is the addition of automatic terminals from which to buy tickets; these save time when boarding.
There are two main kinds of stops:
- Scheduled stop: The bus arrives at the stop at a set time, at which point it allows some or all passengers to disembark and lets those waiting at the stop board. It departs at another set time later.
- Request or flag stop: The bus does not come to a halt unless it is signalled to do so. Passengers may signal either by pressing a button or pulling a cord, or by verbally alerting the driver. A person waiting at the stop may be required to flag down the bus (no sign may be present), or his/her presence may be sufficient.
Some bus stops have a button which controls a traffic signal for the bus at some distance before the stop. A "demand stop" is a variant of a request stop in which a bus passenger tells the driver to leave them off at a specific bus stop, otherwise the bus will not travel to the bus stop. People are not picked up at a "demand stop", only let off the bus.
A location with a large number of bus stops is called a bus station, bus interchange, bus depot, or transportation center; in the case of an end destination it may be called a terminal station. It also may house one or more stations for other forms of mass transit, such as a train station. It may have a waiting room instead of just shelters. (In the UK a bus stop is a single place where one or more buses stop; a bus station is a building which buses stop at, commonly facilities for drivers and passengers, a ticket office, refreshment outlets and a waiting room will be provided; and a bus depot is a storage area and garage for buses, used when the buses are not in operation. A location containing more than one form of transport is more commonly referred to as an interchange in the UK.)
Platforms may be assigned to fixed bus lines, or variable in combination with a dynamic passenger information system . The latter requires fewer platforms, but does not supply the passenger the comfort of knowing the platform well in advance and waiting there.
In bus rapid transit systems, bus stops may be more elaborate. They may have enclosed areas to allow the collection of fares prior to the arrival of the bus. This allows for rapid boarding of the bus using all doors on the bus instead of queueing through the front doors and paying fares. The most famous such system is in Curitiba, Brazil.
Bus stop placement
Historically bus stops have been placed in the roadway. In cases where on street parking is allowed, having a bus stopped in the lane closest to the curb usually does not pose a problem. In cases where on street parking is not allowed, the stopped bus closes a travel lane to all traffic. To prevent this, a bus turnout is sometimes used to allow the bus to stop without blocking a traffic lane.
Bus stop location
Bus stops are typically located to provide a balance of bus passenger convenience and vehicle operating efficiency. Having too many bus stops along a bus line results in slow and unreliable service, whereas too few bus stops means that many passengers will have to walk a long way to get to their bus.
A number of research efforts have concluded that the optimal bus stop spacing for most transit routes is somewhere between 1000-2000 feet (300-600m). Many transit agencies have developed guidelines for preferred bus stop spacing. In Seattle, Washington, King County Metro’s guidelines call for an ideal stop spacing of 4-6 stops per mile in an urban environment, to achieve the proper balance of service coverage and vehicle performance. TriMet, in Portland, Oregon, uses bus stop spacing guidelines of every 3 blocks or 780' (240m) in dense areas, and every 4 blocks or 1000' in medium to low density areas. The Public Transport Council in Singapore uses a guideline of 400m - 350m (1300ft - 1150ft) spacing between bus stops. The Milwaukee (Wisconsin) County Transit System (MCTS) has bus stops every two (2) blocks.
In most U.S. Cities, however, the typical bus stop spacing is between 650 and 900 feet (200-275 m), well below the optimal. Often the existing pattern of stops is the result of a reactive process spanning many decades. New bus stops are commonly installed in response to citizen requests or complaints in a reactive manner without consideration of the corridor-level context. Then, as people become accustomed to established bus stop locations, removal of existing bus stops can be a painful process, even if the original purpose for a bus stop is no longer an issue. After several decades of reactive process without corridor-level vision, an over-saturation of bus stops can result.
Transit agencies are increasingly looking at bus stop consolidation as a way to improve service cheaply and easily. Bus stop consolidation is the process of evaluating the bus stop pattern along an established bus route and developing a new pattern for optimal bus stop placement. Bus stop consolidation involves evaluating each bus stop and identifying critical stops, stops that could be removed or combined, and stops that could be moved for better service. The goal of bus stop consolidation is to create a good balance of service accessibility, transit vehicle performance/schedule reliability, and investment in public facilities. Bus stop consolidation has been proven to improve operating efficiency and ridership on bus routes.
Bus stops in music
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