Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs. Topic 22-01. Bus Stop Design and Location: Legal Impact on Tort and Civil Rights Lawsuits

Public transportation agencies strive to offer safe, clean, courteous, and accessible services and facilities for their customers' safety, convenience, and comfort. The location of bus stops can impact the safety and usability of public transit services. Reported incidents, accidents, and injuries at bus stops vary greatly and impact transit agencies of every size. The issue of liability due to negligent bus stop design and planning or unsafe and unmaintained bus stops can be challenging for property and liability insurers. There is limited guidance on bus stop design and federal requirements for fair and equitable access to transit facilities. Local governmental authorities, including transit agencies, may be immune from tort liability under governmental immunity provisions. However, negligent location and upkeep of bus stops may fall outside exceptions from immunity, making the local government or transit agency liable for accidents and injuries at bus stops. Bus stops can create legal issues associated with ownership, maintenance, accessibility, accommodations, and environment. There is a need to update TCRP LRD 24: Transit Bus Stops: Ownership, Liability, and Access (2008), which presents transit providers and government officials with information on the different levels of ownership, liability, and maintenance associated with bus stops and bus shelters; identifies the categories of legal issues associated with ownership and liability; and provides information on the problems and practices of others who have dealt with such matters, including protective provisions in franchise agreements and service provider contracts. TCRP LRD 24 focuses on the Americans with Disabilities Act. This research should consider bus stop siting consistent with equity principles and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The objective of this research is to produce a digest for lawmakers and public transportation agencies and their attorneys that provides practical advice and summarizes the laws relevant to decision-making about siting for fixed-route bus stops, including shelters. Generally, the research should be limited to services operated in mixed traffic, not bus rapid transit on a separate guideway. This research will result in (1) a summary of case law, municipal and State codes, and other legal developments since the publication of TCRP LRD 24 and (2) a review of selected public transportation agencies as examples of how bus stop locations are sited when considering safety and equity.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-05, Topic 22-01

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Start Date: 20240226
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01891773
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-05, Topic 22-01
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2023 8:27PM