Bus Boarding Island

Usage: Wide

A raised area, not connected to the adjacent sidewalk, with dedicated waiting and boarding area for bus passengers. Boarding islands provide many of the benefits of bus bulbs while also avoiding curb, bike, and catch-basin conflicts. Usage is most desirable on streets with parking-protected bike lanes and frequent bus service.

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3rd Avenue and 57th Street, Manhattan
E 161st Street, Bronx


See benefits of Bus Bulbs

See benefits of Pedestrian Safety Islands

  • Reduces conflicts with curb activity by moving bus stop away from the curb
  • Reduces conflicts with bikes by physically separating bus stop from bike path
  • Avoids need to relocate existing catch basins
  • When utilized at a bus stop under an elevated train line, where the bus does not pull over to the sidewalk and passengers regularly stand in the roadway, provides a safer waiting space


  • Streets with high curb demand or heavy right-turn volumes
  • Streets with parking-protected bike lanes
  • Streets under elevated trains where the bus does not pull over to the sidewalk, and bus bulbs are unsuitable or costly


See design guidance for Pedestrian Safety Islands

  • Minimum bus boarding island widths vary from 8.5 feet to 12 feet depending on the type of bus using the island, the space necessary to deploy the wheelchair ramp, and whether a fence is placed on the back of the island
  • Boarding island length varies depending upon the buses using the island, the likelihood of two buses arriving at once, and the necessary length of the cut-through and access ramp
  • For shorter blocks, island should extend to full length of block. This allows for a pedestrian access on both sides of the island and serves as a pedestrian refuge at two crosswalks. If not possible, a secondary signalized crossing or enhanced crossing should be considered at one end of the island
  • To achieve near-level boarding, bus boarding islands should have a higher curb-reveal, up to 10.5 inches
  • A shelter should be sited on the island as an amenity to bus riders and to provide a vertical element signal to drivers