An American Take on the “Bus Stop of the Future”

College Park, Maryland's "Bus Stop of the Future." Image: Beyond DC/Flickr
College Park’s “bus stop of the future.” Image: Beyond DC/Flickr

Four years ago, the regional transit agency in Paris, RATP, set out to create the “bus stop of the future.” This bus stop would be designed to give riders and even passersby a comfortable place to relax. In addition to a sleek shelter, it featured a bike-share station, a library, and snacks and coffee.

Inspired by that example, College Park, Maryland, recently created its own version of the “bus stop of the future.” Dan Malouff at Greater Greater Washington says it includes many of the elements of the Parisian bus stop, but at a price that’s a lot more reasonable:

They started with a normal bus stop sign and shelter, then added a standard mBike bikeshare station. To help with maintenance, the city chained a bike tire pump to the station sign.

For the library, they staked to the ground a Little Free Library, a pre-fab wood box for people to take and give away free books. There’s no librarian and no library cards; it runs on the honor system, and relies on people donating as many books as they take.

It’s no grand Parisian bus station, but that would be overkill. For a bus stop in a relatively low-density suburban area, it’s pretty darn nice.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Streets.mn explains why downtown isn’t the place to worry about parking. Mobilizing the Region shares a video about the potential for transit “armageddon” if New York and New Jersey don’t build a new rail connection under the Hudson River. And Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space reviews the expansion of Boston’s Hubway bike-share into the low-income Roxbury neighborhood.

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