Bus Parklet Design Manual

Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California

Client: AC Transit

Role: Lead Consultant

Project Duration: 2017 – 2018

Key Features

  • Integrates features from both parklets and bus bulbs to expand public open space and enhance bus facilities
  • Provides easy to understand process and guidance with heavy use of graphics for the planning, design, implementation, and maintenance of bus parklets
  • The Bus Parklet Design Manual is the first of its kind in the United States


The Bus Parklet Design Manual provides transit agency and local jurisdiction staff, designers, community stakeholders, and prospective sponsors with a roadmap for the successful implementation of Bus Parklets. Bus Parklets are relatively low-cost structures that combine the popular concept of parklets with the functions of a bus bulb to create a flexible public space as well as a temporary or permanent platform that enhances transit boarding and facilitates in-lane stopping for buses.

The Bus Parklet Design Manual introduces the benefits of Bus Parklets, offers site selection criteria, and provides detailed guidance on the spatial organization of programmatic and physical design elements. The manual also includes guidance on accessibility for people of all ages and abilities, maintaining existing flows of stormwater runoff, minimum maintenance requirements, and potential financing strategies. CD+A created both plans and 3D renderings that illustrate and provide critical dimensions for the application of Bus Parklets in typical nearside, far side, and midblock locations.

In developing the guidelines, CD+A investigated pilot parklet programs in the Bay Area and other U.S. cities. Along with other team members, CD+A created and conducted a survey of other jurisdictions that focused on parklet policies; conditions under which cities allow installations; parklet design and maintenance parameters; liability challenges; and sponsorship, construction, and operations and maintenance funding. Survey results ultimately informed an existing conditions and best practices memorandum on parklets and bus bulbs.