Land use, the transportation networks and accessibility are fundamental considerations for determining where bus stops should be located to best serve local communities.

Integrating bus stops with land use and transport

Bus stop planning should be an integral part of the early phases of land use and transport planning projects, so it is integrated with existing and planned land use developments. As noted in the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2021, it may make sense to invest in public transport ahead of demand when land is more affordable and to support better transport and land use integration. Integration with surrounding land use is critical for all public transport infrastructure to:

  • ensure safe operation and minimise potential road safety conflicts
  • facilitate community access to social and economic opportunities
  • support mode shift (that is, the move away from reliance on private cars)
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The early introduction of public transport services to a newly urbanising area can help establish multi-modal travel patterns and minimise car dependency.

Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2021 (external link)

Accessibility considerations for location planning

Accessibility should be considered in bus stop location planning because all people should be able to use public transport. Accessibility includes making the bus stop safe, obvious, step-free and considering elements such as seating type, hard surfaces and kerb depth and height.
It is acknowledged that some aspects of accessibility can make bus stops relatively expensive to implement, so we recommend a pragmatic approach that focuses on the very highest accessibility standards for:

  • busy bus stops (such as those in town and city centres)
  • bus stops where people access essential services such as supermarkets, local shopping centres, hospitals and other medical clinics, and social support services
  • residential areas with large proportions of people likely to need these features such as outside residential care facilities and retirement villages.

It is acknowledged that it may not be feasible to provide every element of universal access at every bus stop. Pragmatic accessibility recommendations by bus stop type are provided in:

PTDG: Accessibility