Bus Stop Standards

Bus Stop Design Standards



The core of Skagit Transit’s service is the ability of our citizens to access our system in a safe and convenient manner. Bus stops that are properly placed, accessible, and recognizable at a distance are essential. Our bus stop design standards are designed with the collaboration of our partnering agencies in Skagit County. These standards will provide a template for how Skagit Transit will accomplish this part of our mission.

An additional goal will be to provide information and understanding to staff at our partnering agencies, private citizens/landowners, as well as developers for the placement and improvement of our bus stops. This will help explain our focus on things like accessibility for the disabled.  

While accessibility in our bus stop design is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is also good service for everyone. Skagit Transit serves a large percentage of the disabled members of our community, however, accessible stops that are safe for the disabled are also safe for all our riders. If the disabled members of our community can easily recognize and travel to their local bus stop, then so can all of our other riders.

Skagit Transit staff are available to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have regarding our bus stops or stop amenities. Each bus stop has a unique set of characteristics that must be accounted for when establishing a bus stop. Please note that the design standards do not supersede any existing local, state, or Federal code, standard, or statute.

Questions, comments or concerns about the design standards should be directed to:

Brad Windler
Planning and Outreach Supervisor
(360) 757-5179










General Information and Standards for Bus Stops

Basic Location Characteristics

Skagit Transit does not have the legal authority to place bus stops anywhere we would like. The agency must seek permission via a permit from the jurisdiction with legal control of traffic engineering, usually either a municipality or Skagit County. Bus stops must take into account a variety of factors including, but not limited to, land use, traffic flow, traffic speed limits, and the presence of driveways among other factors.


Bus Stop Spacing

Bus stops need to be spaced an appropriate distance apart. Stops that are too close will make buses stop too frequently which interferes with the speed and reliability of the associated bus route. Bus stops spaced too far apart will create long walking distances for riders to reach desirable locations served by the bus route.


Inside the cities and towns of Skagit County, bus stops should be spaced 600 to 800 feet apart (2 to 4 blocks). However, stops may be spaced closer or farther apart if there is sufficient reason such as important destinations or there is a physical limitation that prevents proper spacing. Rural areas of Skagit County will have bus stops where there may be great distances between them depending on demand and physical limitations. Physical limitations may range from a lack of space in the Right of Way, presence of a steep ditch, creek, or other similar imposing barrier.


General Positioning


Bus stops are located along a street in one of 3 positions, near side, far side, or mid-block. This position is determined by the location of any cross street. Each position has certain positive and negative characteristics. The exact placement will depend the presence certain characteristics such as stop lights, pedestrian crossings, and other physical elements of a location. For instance, if an intersection has a stop light, then the bus stop may be placed on the far side so that the bus can clear the traffic signal before stopping. If the bus has to stop before the traffic signal (aka near side), then the bus has a greater chance of being delayed by a red light.



Land Use/Pedestrian Connection


Bus Stops will located in areas expected to generate ridership due to the surrounding land use in that area. For instance, placing stops near the hospital in Mount Vernon will generate trips to and from the medical offices in that area. Pedestrian connections from the bus stop to the surrounding land uses are essential to facilitate citizens being able to reach transit services.

Pedestrian Crossings


Skagit Transit prefers bus stops to be located on the far side of any pedestrian crossing if possible. After riders disembark from the bus, they often use nearby sidewalks and crosswalks to continue their journey. With a stop on the near side of a pedestrian crossing, riders may delay a bus by attempting to cross the street in front of the bus after disembarking. Crossing in front of the bus is also a safety hazard to the pedestrian as the bus visually blocks their ability to see oncoming traffic. A stop on the far side results in the riders walking behind the bus to use the crosswalk. This reduces delay to the bus and allows the pedestrian to have better visibility for a safer street crossing.


Bus Stop Amenities


Skagit Transit will upgrade stops with various improvements. Bus shelters are capable to seating 2 passengers on a bench with an open area for mobility device. These shelters are a three sided enclosure with a roof for protection from the elements. There are two bus shelter sizes full sized and cantilever. Cantilever has shorter side walls to help them fit in smaller locations, but the roof size and seating capacity are the same.

Full Size-          5’ x 10’

Cantilever-      3’ x 10’

Concrete pads for shelters are 6” larger in each direction

New bus shelters will come with solar powered lighting. Skagit Transit will be buying kits to retro fit older shelters with solar powered lighting. Simme Seats are a small set of two seats with a bus stop sign pole attached. These seats will fit in many locations where a traditional bench will not fit do to their small size.

Simme Seats require a concrete pad that is 2’ wide and 4’ long.


Bus Stops and the Americans with Disabilities Act


ADA standards require bus stops to be 5’ wide by 8’ deep with a hardened surface. In addition, they should have a 5’ wide connection to a pedestrian pathway.




Lighting at bus stops is a central element to the perceived safety of a bus stop. A dark bus stop can be viewed as a dangerous area subject to criminal activity. There is also a chance that a rider waiting at a dark stop may not be noticed by the operator of a passing bus resulting in an unsatisfactory experience for that rider. Skagit Transit bus stops shall be in areas near street lighting when at all possible. New bus shelters will have solar powered lighting installed. Skagit Transit is in the process of procuring solar powered lighting kits to retrofit older shelters that do not have lighting.


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