How components of bus stops can support safety and security. Lighting plays in important role at bus stops in supporting perceptions of safety and security for customers, enhancing journeys and enabling drivers to see waiting customers.

Safety, security and lighting summary

The table below summarises signs and markings corresponding to each type of bus stop classification and whether the component is essential, recommended or optional.

Where items marked essential are not legislative requirements, departures should be approved by the relevant road controlling authority and public transport authority.

Table: Summary of safety and security components by bus stop classification

Download safety, security and lighting summary table [PDF, 215 KB]

Safety and security

Bus stop components provide an important role in perceptions of personal safety. The main safety and security considerations are as follows.

  • Provide clear visibility between bus drivers and passengers.
  • Maintain clear visibility for vehicles around the bus stop and prevent objects and foliage obstructing sight lines.
  • Adhere to the design principles set out in National Guidelines for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in New Zealand. Locate bus stops and shelters to minimise the opportunity for crime and increase feelings of safety and security for all people, including when they are travelling at night. Design for the security needs of a wide range of demographics including women, younger people, older people, LGBTQIA+ communities[1], ethnic minorities, and disabled people, some of whom experience disproportionate levels of violence or abuse. Locate bus stops:
    • in clear, visible locations away from tall vegetation and other objects that people can hide behind
    • in well-lit areas near street lighting or other existing sources of illumination, if the bus stop does not have its own illumination
    • near activity centres where natural public surveillance occurs such as service stations, other stops, rest homes.
  • Enhance bus waiting areas to raise public transport users’ level of comfort and improve safety for users at night by improving facility visibility.
  • Use paving and other surface enhancements to make areas for different modes on walking and cycling paths apparent and obvious, improve safety, and make it easier and smoother to walk and cycle along the routes.

[1] LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual with the plus (+) sign representing other gender identities and sexual orientations (such as gender-fluid, pansexual and non-binary).

Further guidance

For more information, see:

To mitigate safety issues for all road users, including cyclists and turning traffic, undertake visibility assessments in accordance with:


Lighting at bus stops:

  • enhances the security of passengers
  • improves the perception of personal safety
  • enhances the bus journey experience
  • allows bus drivers to see waiting customers.

The bus stop and the walk up to it should be well lit at night. The extent that this should be included as part of any bus stop installation or improvement depends on the specific site requirements. Where street lighting is inadequate, independent lighting should be installed, which could be solar powered and mounted on the bus stop pole.

For further guidance on the standards for pedestrian and vehicle lighting levels, see:

Lighting for Roads and Public Spaces (AS/NZS 1158.3.1:2020) (external link)

Connections to the local electricity network can often be difficult or costly. Ideally, each bus shelter should have its own source of illumination. In many instances, good quality solar powered lighting may make the most sense to install from practical and cost perspectives (see the figure below).

Bus stop shelter with lighting. (Credit: Elisa Hardijanto)