Locating bus stops near intersections maximises walking catchments, however, there are a number of matters to consider in selecting whether to locate the stop before or after the intersection, or in-between intersections, with potential impacts on safety, bus capacity and signal operations.


The three broad choices for locating bus stops near intersections are to locate them:

  • near-side (before an intersection)
  • far-side (after an intersection)
  • mid-block (between intersections).

Locating bus stops in the direct vicinity of intersections maximises walking catchments by increasing the number of directions with a direct path to stops, so are often preferred over mid-block locations. However, take care when locating bus stops within the direct proximity of intersections, as stop design has impacts on safety, bus capacity and signal operations.

It is generally recommended to avoid locating bus stops within about 12m of pedestrian crossings and 20–60m of an intersection due to the potential for blocking sight lines. The figure below illustrates bus stop placement around intersections.

Bus stop crossroad placement. 

Driveways or other infrastructure may affect the possible proximity of bus stop location relative to an intersection. Some intersections are commercial nodes and town centre locations, so availability of kerb space and catchment could be a deciding factor on bus stop location.

The optimal location of bus stops at intersections vary based on local context, so assess location on a case-by-case basis. When locating bus stops near intersections there are four main considerations.

  • Type of intersection control and pedestrian crossing.
    • Signalised intersections can usually accommodate near-side or far-side configurations, but take care that all vehicles can enter and exit the intersection safely. For far-sided stops, the stop capacity should be able to accommodate more than one bus for high frequency routes, so a safe queueing space is provided for multiple buses arriving at the bus stop.
    • At priority controlled intersections, including roundabouts, stops should be located after the pedestrian crossing so they don’t interfere with sight lines. Take care not to block exiting traffic at roundabouts. To avoid impeding sight lines from side roads, it is preferable to locate stops on the departure side (far-side) of priority-controlled intersections especially if there is no flush median for right-turning vehicles.
    • Near-side bus stops are inappropriate in the presence of zebra crossings, as the risk exists that vehicles overtake a stopped bus and enter the zebra crossing without seeing a pedestrian on the crossing. Bus stops should generally be located on the far side of pedestrian crossings to remove the risk of the bus masking a pedestrian from an approaching driver overtaking the bus.
  • Bus direction of travel (right, straight or left).
    • A bus that must turn right at an intersection on a multi-lane road may have difficulty reaching the right-hand lane from a kerbside stop just before the intersection. Therefore, stops are preferred after the intersection.
    • The bus stop should be located at a sufficient distance from the intersection so a bus can straighten up into the bus stop after it turns. Take care that a vehicle behind the bus has time to react to a bus stopping immediately after the intersection.
    • If bus routes diverge at signals, near-side stops allow for common connection and transfer opportunities between diverging routes.
  • Traffic volumes and predominant private vehicle direction of travel.
    • If left-turning volumes are high at an intersection, a far-side stop will reduce the conflict that would exist between left-turning vehicles and a near-side stop.
    • If left- or right-turning volumes are low, consider reallocating lanes paired with a bus stop on the near-side to allow for de facto traffic signal priority for the bus.
  • Feasibility of bus priority measures.
    • A near-side bus stop may pair well with bus priority measures such as a ‘B’ light or queue jump. This can be particularly useful when the bus needs to move into the right-hand lane after the intersection.
    • A far-side bus stop may pair well with a truncated red phase or extended green phase.

Advantages, disadvantages, and practice guidance in terms of stop location choice is in the table below.

Table: Advantages, disadvantages, and practice guidance for stop location choice




Practice guidance

Near-side of intersection

Can be paired with priority measures

Takes advantage of red phase at signalised intersections

May be necessary if a common stop is required before the intersection before routes diverge

May conflict with left-turning vehicles

May be difficult for buses turning right at the intersection to merge into the right-turning lane

Affects sight lines from side roads at priority-controlled intersections

Ensure safe sight lines for pedestrian crossings

Ensure sight lines for vehicles on side roads are met (applies at priority-controlled intersections only)

Far-side of intersection

Eliminates conflicts with left-turning vehicles

Allows the bus to clear the intersection, blocking fewer movements and sight lines

Could result in traffic queued into the intersection if a bus stops in the travel lane or multiple buses arrive at once

May cause difficulty for a bus that must turn right at an intersection on a multi-lane road to reach the right-hand lane from a kerbside stop just before the intersection

Don’t block traffic exiting the intersection

Allow time for a vehicle directly behind the bus to react safely to the bus stopping

Mid-block away from intersection

Eliminates conflicts with intersections

Reduces walking catchments and access to crossings

Locate a crossing point within 50m of the bus stop (ideally)

Locate bus stops on the departure side of mid-block zebra crossings

The choice of bus stop location should also consider key trip origin and destination points and minimise pedestrian walking distances, where feasible. Locate bus stops to encourage connections between buses, trains and ferries. Stops should be close to where different bus routes or other passenger transport services intersect to minimise walking time for connecting passengers (see the figure below).

Bus stops located near an attractor location to encourage connections, The Palms, Christchurch. (Source: Environment Canterbury)

Priority signals

If bus priority signals are provided at an intersection, their operation should be designed in conjunction with bus stop placement and bus lanes.

Bus lanes at intersections are recommended where bus priority signals are to be implemented.

For more information about best practice priority signals see:

PTDG: Public transport priority and optimisation

Mid-block stops

In general, bus stop placement near intersections is preferred because it increases the walking catchment of the bus stop. Bus stops may be placed mid-block if the available road width does not allow safe and efficient location close to an intersection, provided the block length does not adversely affect the walking catchment.

Safe crossing facilities are an important consideration with mid-block stops.