When I have taken long-distance buses in northern Sweden or northern Norway, I have frequently gotten off the bus at arbitrary spots along the route, by talking to the bus driver, often far from any official timetabled stop. Soon I will head to Iceland. I will be taking bus 51 (Reykjavík-Mjódd to Höfn), and the place I would like to get off is between Jökulsárlón and Höfn. Can I expect that the bus driver will be willing to let me off at the exact indicated spot (assuming he can stop safely)? The alternative would be to walk/taxi/hitch-hike back 20-25 km along the ring road.
I am back from my journey, which included Strætó bus 51 from Reykjavík-Mjódd to Höfn i Hornafirði, with a change of buses and drivers in Vík.
On three occassions (two between Reykjavík and Vík, and one between Vík and Höfn i Hornafirði), a passenger or group of passengers requested to get off the bus at an intersection or farm that did not have an official bus stop. In each of these cases, the bus driver did not make a fuss and stopped at the requested stop, where someone was waiting by car to pick up the passenger, suggesting this is quite normal. At each of those stops, the bus could stop safely without blocking traffic (which was well below one car per minute in any case).
It looks like the Strætó rule that Tor-Einar Jarnbjo quotes is not enforced in practice in rural areas of Iceland, where scheduled bus stops may be 100 km apart.
Parts of the Strætó web site (the bus line operator) is unfortunately only in Icelandic. Here they write:
Vinsamlegast biddu vagnstjóra aldrei um að stöðva vagninn annarsstaðar en á biðstöð. Það getur haft í för með sér mikla slysahættu, bæði fyrir farþega og aðra í umferðinni.
Roughly translated to English:
Please never ask the bus driver to stop the bus at other places than the designated bus stops. It can be the cause of many accidents, both for the passengers and for other road users.