Attractive and Functional Bus Stop Shelters

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Providing security and weather protection for your residents and employees who ride the bus doesn’t mean you have to accept the advertising companies’ shelters.

Bus stops serve as a gateway into the transit network. Shelters with amenities can be dignified and attractive features that municipalities can take great pride in. Findings from a 2017 University of Utah study found that added shelters and amenities increased ridership while reducing paratransit demand, creating a more efficient transit network.

Amenities should go beyond a shelter and a bench. A transit map, signage, and even real-time arrival information can be invaluable resources for all riders, particularly those who are new to the system. Trash receptacles are useful for passengers, along with lighting to increase safety and visibility of riders. Shelters should be designed for visibility, so that riders can see the bus, and bus operators can see riders.

Examples of Shelters from Local Municipalities and Elsewhere

Most bus passenger shelters at bus stops are installed by advertising companies who accrue revenue from the advertising that the shelter holds. However, their shelters have minimal amenities for bus riders – perhaps two seats in a small shelter. Some municipalities and companies have installed more accommodating shelters that are also more attractive. One Delaware County municipality has designed shelters that have been placed at several locations. Here is Concord Township’s short presentation on their shelters:

Shelters can also serve as connection points to other modes of transportation. Minneapolis, Minnesota has created “mobility hubs”, which are connected to bus stops and host bike share, scooters, and/or bicycle parking. Shelters can serve as connection points to many different modes of transportation and can host solutions to the “last mile” transportation problem.

Bus Stop Design Guidelines

Municipalities, employers and developers thinking about providing shelters should review the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s SEPTA Bus Stop Design Guidelines (2019): This report provides municipalities, local developers, and other local partners a consistent set of guidelines for designing surface transit stops.

Questions about bus shelters, bus stops, and bus service? Contact the Planning Department at 610-891-5200 or

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