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Evaluating a bus stop for improvements

Many factors are considered before a shelter is installed at a bus stop.

Shelter Guidelines are used to determine which sites are considered for shelters based on daily boarding minimums. At high-ridership stops, staff will complete on-site assessments and consider the following factors:


Shelters are always installed on a concrete surface to ensure they are securely anchored and safe for use. Shelters are not installed on asphalt, turf or gravel. Where necessary, Metro Transit may work with partners to install concrete at a site.


Sites must have room not only for a shelter, but for the buses, customers and others who use the surrounding area. Overhead obstructions such as tree limbs, awnings, balconies and signage, as well as trash receptacles, benches and other street furniture are also considered.

Sight lines and visual obstructions  

Shelters should not obstruct traffic signage or block sight lines for those traveling on the roadway. Metro Transit is also sensitive to adjacent property owners. While not always possible, the preference is to install shelters where they do not block views of windows, doors, signage or storefronts. It is sometimes possible to relocate existing signage so a shelter can be installed.


When possible, shelters open to the south or east to provide maximum protection from the elements. Shelter openings are also placed away from the street to help prevent snow from entering. Shelters are preferably installed on the “near side” of a bus stop, closer to the approaching bus.


Space must be provided for customers boarding with mobility devices and the deployment of bus wheelchair lifts so that buses are available to all users. If improvements are made at an existing shelter location that is not accessible, the site must be brought into compliance with sidewalk ramps, curb cuts or other site improvements.

Customer safety  

Sidewalk and crosswalk conditions within 100 feet of a shelter site are evaluated to ensure customers can safely access a shelter site.  Unevenness, heaving or other challenges that may make it more difficult for customers to access a site may need to be addressed through sidewalk replacements or other improvements. Crosswalk and improvements to pedestrian signage may also be needed and will be coordinated with cities.

Electrical connections  

Adding light and heat to a shelter depend on access to electrical power at the site. In many cases, Metro Transit is able to coordinate with regulatory agencies to use existing street lighting as an electrical source for shelter lighting. LED fixtures with low operating costs are often installed in shelters. Solar-powered lighting may be an attractive option at some shelter locations. The use of solar depends on the amount of direct sunlight a location receives and available space. 

To provide heat at a shelter, there must be access to a transformer or a metered connection, which can add significant installation and operation costs.

Proximity to historic resources  

Bus stop improvements are considered in the context of the surrounding neighborhood. If there are historic resources around a potential shelter site, the State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) may become involved. A bronze shelter or other alternative may be used in areas with historic resources, with appropriate approval, to preserve the historic character of the location.

Site improvements  

In cases where available space is limited, Metro Transit may request an easement from nearby property owners. 


Metro Transit is committed to preserving its assets and providing customers a safe, comfortable experience. Shelters must be placed in locations that allow for snow removal and maintenance activities such as pressure washing, litter and debris cleanup and glass replacement.

Bus stop space constraints Bus stop space constraints

Some locations do not have space to fit a shelter.

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