Staff Report #2 – Bus Stop Standards

Staff Report #2

September 27, 2023

To All Commissioners

Re: Bus Stop Standards


That the Commission CONFIRM the Bus Stop Standards and Technical Guidelines and associated procedures consistent with those approved in 2015.


The bus stop is often the customer’s first physical interface with transit service and as such should project a positive first impression. Bus stop placement, especially in residential areas, can be challenging and can result in requests to have stops relocated based on perceived problems with noise, litter, security concerns or are related to traffic operations (bus blocking driveway, etc.).

On an annual basis, London Transit receives an average of approximately 35 requests for stop removals, relocations or installations.

Prior to 2003, London Transit’s stop standards were informal with placement of stops often being an afterthought based upon the most convenient location at the time or installed at the request of a rider or ward Councillor with no formal assessment process. This approach resulted in significant inconsistencies with respect to stop placement on routes throughout the system, noting in a number of cases, sections of routes had bus stops located every 40-50 metres. The formalization of the Bus Stop Standards and Technical Guidelines in June 2003 provided for a more consistent method of assessing bus stop placement, and requests for relocation.

The formalized Bus Stop Standards and Technical Guidelines, set out a number of stop standards to assist with determining stop locations and addressing concerns once bus stops were in place including;

  1. The Marked Stop Policy
    1. The provision of marked stopping places for buses is essential to customers, bus drivers and other users of the road, permitting an orderly, consistent pattern of bus operation
  1. The Location Standard
    1. Each potential location shall be assessed on its own merit and all things being equal a nearside stop shall be preferred
  1. The relocation Standard
    1. A stop relocation due to a specific issue must solve or reduce the problem as opposed to merely relocating it. Stops shall not be relocated;
      1. From flankage to frontage in residential areas;
      2. From adjacent commercial land use to a residential lot; and
      3. If the requested change will not make a noticeable change in conditions, but merely shift the location of a problem.
  1. The Accessibility Standard
    1. In support of the Commission’s Accessibility Plan, all bus stops shall be designed or be modified for barrier free access for both conventional accessible and specialized transit.

The above set of formalized standards, set the guidelines for determining stop placement and assessment criteria for potential stop relocations should requests be received from the public.

In 2015, a complete system and service guidelines review was completed and approved by the Commission, including an assessment of the previously approved Bus Stop Standards and Technical Guidelines. While the majority of the standards set out in the original Bus Stop Standards document remained relevant, some modifications were made with regards to stop spacing and location recommendations including;

  1. Bus stop placement should establish a proper balance between the travel distance for passengers and the operational efficiencies of well-placed stops
Spacing Measure Rapid Transit/Express Routes Arterial Routes Local Routes Industrial Routes
Minimum (meters) 500 250 200 250
Maximum (meters) Major Destinations 400 400 Major Destinations
  1. Priority of location should be given to transit stop locations at major intersections and near the street entrance of major destinations (avoid mid-block locations where possible). At signalized intersections, far side stop locations will be prioritized to achieve improved operational efficiency.
  1. For each stop location, confirm with other City departments (e.g. Planning and Development and Roads and Transportation staff) that there are good pedestrian connections between the stop and trip origins and destinations.

Stop spacing guidelines were added to the Bus Stop Standards to provide consistency and balance to stop locations as opposed to previous stops being added if they met the other guidelines, regardless of how close to the previous/next stop they were. The excessive number of stops on many routes in the system were addressed as part of this process, noting too-frequent stops impact route performance and schedule adherence of the system, as such through application of the new bus stop spacing standards, approximately 80 stops were removed/relocated.

It should be noted that, in addition to the aforementioned criteria relating to bus stop location/relocation, all bus stop locations are also subject to City of London approval through the Transportation Planning and Design department.

For each request to install or relocate a bus stop the above guidelines are utilized to consistently assess the request and determine if there is merit in placing or removing a stop location. A report is prepared which outlines the factors considered and the result of the review. Should the result of the review be to relocate the stop, the City of London is provided the proposed new location to approve the movement of the stop and complete their review process for bus stop placement. This document can be shared with interested parties to demonstrate the factors considered and the resulting recommendation. It should be noted that there is no public participation process nor area canvassing included in the stop location process as there is no way to weigh the various feedback in a manner that is fair and equitable to all interested parties. By way of example, the resident requesting the stop relocation will obviously be in favour while the resident whose home is adjacent to the new stop location may not be; likewise, riders who benefitted from a stop being close to their final destination may not be supportive of a new location that results in a longer walk at the beginning/end of their trip.

A recent stop re-location, the details of which are set out in Enclosure I, has been raised as a concern by the ward Councillor. In this case, the stop relocation request came from a home owner who raised concerns with respect to bus riders standing on her porch while waiting for the bus. Administration followed the process outlined in this report, which resulted in the identification of an alternate location for the stop. This location was forwarded to the City of London for consideration and was subsequently denied given the nearside proximity to a pedestrian cross-walk. Administration then worked to identify an alternate location, which was subsequently approved by the City and the stop was relocated. Subsequent to this relocation, administration received a communication from an area resident requesting the stop be put back to the original location. The resident raised concerns with the stop being moved too far from the pedestrian crossing and the additional walk distance they would be forced to travel to the new stop location. The resident also submitted a petition requesting the stop be relocated to the original location. The request to place the stop back in the original place was denied based on the assessment that had been undertaken. At this time, the ward Councillor became involved, and has asked for the stop to be returned to its original location.

Returning the stop to the original location is inconsistent with the current evaluation framework, which is subject to Commission approval. As such, this report is being tabled for Commission consideration. The report recommendation calls for the Commission to confirm the existing Bus Stop Standards and Technical Guidelines noting the application of same provides a consistent evaluation framework to ensure all requests are evaluated fairly based on the same set of guidelines and technical standards. While not all parties are in favour of changes made as the result of this process, the framework ensures that a consistent process is followed versus an arbitrary decision making process which will be dependent on the arbiter. Significant changes to the Bus Stop Standards document could result in requests for reconsideration of stop relocation requests that have been previously approved or denied.


I – Bus Stop Review – Route 2 – Hale at Doulton SB, Stop 832

Recommended by:

Katie Burns, Director of Planning

Concurred in by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager