Bus Stops

WTA has 900 bus stops, of those:

  • 478 are not easily accessible for people with a mobility device.
  • 170 have a shelter.
  • 249 have a bench.

WTA has a goal to upgrade all non-ADA accessible bus stops by 2040.

Thanks to funding from the City of Bellingham's Transportation Fund, we'll most likely get there sooner.

We plan to upgrade at least 25 bus stops per year, all across Whatcom County.

Once we've finalized the upgrade list for 2024, we'll post it here.

A collage of three photographs at a bus stop. The bottom left photo shows a bus stop with a concrete pad connecting the sidewalk to the curb. The top left photo is the same bus stop, before the upgrade, with grass between the sidewalk and the curb.

An example of a bus stop that was recently upgraded to meet ADA standards. Before the improvement (top left photo), people with a mobility device had to wheel across the grass to reach the bus.

Bus Stop Q & A

The presence of a concrete 5-foot wide by 8-foot deep boarding pad.

It depends on the person, the type of mobility device they use and the space around the bus stop. Many of our stops that do not meet the technical ADA specifications for accessibility may still be useable for people with mobility devices. Please give us a call if you have any questions. 360.676.7433.

There are a few things we consider when prioritizing bus stops for improvement, including:

  • The stop is near housing for seniors or people with disabilities, medical facilities, schools, or other essential destinations.
  • A bus driver has notified staff that a person that uses a mobility device is boarding the bus at a stop that is not accessible.
  • A bus rider uses a mobility device and they let us know the stop closest to their house or other places they often go, is not accessible.
  • When construction is taking place next to a bus stop, like sidewalk improvements, we ask that they also upgrade the bus stop.

There are many things to consider when deciding where to place a bus stop. Safety is the number one priority. We need to insure there is a safe place for the bus to pull over and a safe place for people to wait for the bus. You can learn more about site selection in our Bus Stop Design and Guidelines document.

Deciding how far apart to place bus stops depends upon the presence of pedestrian facilities, trip generators, route frequency and the ability for the bus to safely pull over and stop the bus.

Urban: in an urban, or city environment, the ideal spacing between bus stops is one quarter mile (1,320 feet). Distances under a quarter mile result in increased stopping and the inability to accelerate to the speed limit, which results in a longer run-time. Distances over a quarter mile may result in passengers needing to walk further, which makes transit less appealing and convenient. A quarter mile is about a five-minute walk.

Rural: in rural areas, stops may be placed further apart due to the lack of trip generators and the lack of safe places to stop the bus.

Requests for the relocation or removal of bus stops are reviewed by both Planning and Operations staff. Bus stops may be relocated or removed if the current location poses a safety hazard to passengers, the landowner or bus operations.

Transit Access Fund

The Transit Access Fund is a WTA program which provides financial assistance to local, state, and tribal governments for non-motorized, multi-modal transportation projects related to existing WTA bus stops. Eligible projects must be located within a quarter mile walking distance of any WTA bus stop and be found to enhance overall conditions for those who access bus stops by walking, biking, and/or rolling.

For more information related to the Transit Access Fund, please contact Hayden Richardson at HaydenR@ridewta.com or at (360) 788-9309.

2023 Transit Access Fund Projects