The latest publication of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO, is the "Transit Street Design Guide" in which tips and proposals are presented on how to improve streets through urban design.
The ideas are centered on prioritizing sustainable mobility so that both the member cities of the organization and those that have access to this document can improve their practices in relation to public spaces, mobility, and transportation.
From these recommendations, the organization made a series of designs classified according to the style of stops that are defined as somewhere "to do more than just wait."
We talk about three such designs for bus stops below.
1. In-lane Sidewalk Stop
Bus stops on sidewalks are probably the most common due to their low economic cost and how quickly they can be made.
In addition, the design is easy to replicate on both the smaller and larger streets where traffic is mixed and bus lanes and car lanes aren’t necessarily separated by barriers.
However, keeping cars or other private vehicles from traveling on bus routes is possible if the latter are painted with bright colors. Nevertheless, NACTO maintains that on very narrow sidewalks shelters for bus stops should be omitted.
2. Median Stop, Side Boarding
In many cities around the world, it has become more common to see center lanes of large streets designated as bus lanes for public transport.
This design is classified by NACTO as something that gives identity to the service and offers some of the following functional advantages; greater safety to passengers, allows buses to pass more frequently by reducing the presence of other types of vehicles, and gives a more orderly visual appearance.
According to NACTO obtaining part of these advantages is possible if the size of the passenger waiting area is determined by the expected number of buses and the demand of the passengers.
Additionally, options include using visual methods to indicate safe waiting areas for passengers, making sure the height of the platforms allows both passengers with or without reduced mobility to board the buses without inconvenience, and equipping stops with certain elements that provide comfort and protection such as seats, railings and ceilings.
3. On-street Terminal
Streets referred to as terminals can be those close to intermodal stations or where a bus routed begins or ends. It is common for crowds of passengers to be present on the sidewalks and for buses not to travel with a fixed frequency.
For this reason, NACTO recommends putting signage in sidewalk waiting areas so that people know where each bus stops and what their routes are. These signs should also use braille to keep passengers with reduced vision equally informed.
They also advise against other activities taking place on the sidewalk so as not to get in the way of passengers getting on and off the buses or affect foot traffic.
If you want to learn more about this guide, we recommend that you visit the NACTO website.