- For other meanings, see Bus stop (disambiguation).
A bus stop is a place where a public transport bus stops for the purpose of allowing passengers to board or leave the bus. The simplest kind has just a sign saying "bus stop", but often line numbers and/or destinations are 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. A recent innovation in London is the addition of automatic terminals to buy tickets from: these save time when boarding.
A bus stop is often a "request stop" or "flag stop": a bus does not stop there unless it is requested. Someone waiting at the stop has to pay attention and give a stop sign to halt the bus, or someone inside has to press a button or ask the driver. Some bus stops have a button to press, which controls a traffic signal for the bus at some distance before the stop.
An extensive combination of bus stops in one location is a bus station or bus depot, in the case of an end destination also called terminal station. It may have a waiting room instead of just shelters.
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 are more elaborate. They 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 Location
Bus stops are typically located to provide a balance of bus passenger convenience and vehicle operating efficency. Having too many bus stops along a bus line results in slow and unreliable serivce, 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 between stops. Many transit agencies have developed guidelines for preferred bus stop spacing. In Seattle, WA, 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. Tri-Met, in Portland, OR, uses bus stop spacing guidelines of every 3 blocks or 780' 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 (1312ft – 1148ft) spacing between bus stops.
In most U.S. Cities, however, the typical bus stop spacing is between 650 and 900 feet, 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 coinsolidation 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