America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Seattle vs. Fremont


First round action in Streetsblog’s Sorriest Bus Stop in America competition continues today with two formidable West Coast contenders.

Let’s take a look at the shoddy pedestrian environment that sprawling land use planning, car-centric street design, and plain old disregard for bus riders have created in what are supposedly two enlightened regions of the country. Vote for the worst and decide which bus stop will go on to the Elite 8 and potential national infamy.

Fremont, California


Reader Larry Kawalec submitted this stop, located, appropriately enough, at Auto Mall Parkway and Technology Drive. He says it’s within one mile of…

[a] nursing school, mobile home park, churches, swim school, a REI store, and many, many employers including a HP facility employing a thousand people. The bus connects to regional transit (BART).

Meanwhile, he says, the conditions are terrible:

Nursing students need to walk 1/2 mile in the bike lane next to 45+ heavy traffic.

Auto mall is a cut through between the 880 and 680 freeways.

Note the pitiful handicapped ramp but no sidewalk.

And that little metal structure next to the bus stop pole? It’s not to lean against — it’s to stop people from walking across Auto Mall Parkway.

Agencies responsible: Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, Fremont Public Works.


Seattle bus stop

This stop comes from reader Alexander Lew, who writes:

Here’s one in Seattle, WA (yes, in a city that funded $54 billion in transit improvements!). The bus lets you off onto the freight railroad tracks. When it’s rainy (which is like most of the year), the trackbed gets pretty muddy.

Imagine standing at that stop with a train roaring behind you, and high-speed traffic in front of you.

Agencies responsible: Washington DOT, King County Metro.

Which bus stop is the sorriest?

  • Seattle (65%, 363 Votes)
  • Fremont (35%, 198 Votes)

Total Voters: 561


10 thoughts on America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Seattle vs. Fremont

  1. Aside: “Fremont” and “Seattle” could be confusing, as we have a Seattle neighborhood called Fremont. But I didn’t figure you’d have an all-Seattle faceoff….

  2. The Seattle bus stop at least has a sidewalk, and it is just yards from the Community College entrance. It’s in an industrial area south of downtown, so it isn’t exactly pretty, but this is a commuting bus, not a tour bus line. East Marginal Way does have stop lights, so it is possible to cross the street there if one does so between the “pulses”. There are train tracks there, but that seems to be the Seattle aesthetic. There are train tracks running along the waterfront in the main tourist area, and some of those trains seem a mile long. That can be a bummer, but that’s Seattle.

    The Fremont bus stop is also in a business / commercial area, but there is no sidewalk and one isn’t even supposed to cross the street. The stop really isn’t near anything, so that means long walks by the roadside. Maybe I’m just fond of Seattle, but the Fremont stop seems much sorrier.

  3. I used to drive Metro coaches along East Marginal Way where that sorry-ass stop is. Years ago, that road was a poorly paved section with one long side puddle that I as the operator would love to zoom thru. Sorry if you were standing at that puddle in the dark in black clothing on a cold rainy night.

  4. The train tracks shown in the Seattle picture are a freight siding. Trains do not “roar” through there, but move at slow, shunting speeds. Seattle’s Transit “$54 Billion Improvements” are for operations and expansion and went to King County Metro and (Puget) Sound Transit. In this case, and this is the case of most bus stops in the USA, it is the City of Seattle that is to blame, not the transit agencies.

  5. I was very pleased to see the curb ramp plus level boarding pad at the Fremont stop.

    When I’m stuck navigating a ped-hostile landscape in my power chair, it’s thrilling to see there’s an escape route I can use.

  6. I would love to give nearby Fremont a kick in the pants, but that Seattle bus stop is hilariously sad.

    Also, nothing could be more apropos than bus stops located on streets with “Marginal” and “Auto Mall” in their names

  7. Any random signpost hanging over a narrow sidewalk in Phoenix surrounding 45 MPH traffic will win. Nothing worse than waiting for an infrequent bus when it’s 115F out.

    But the unmarked stop for the San Francisco Golf Club on MUNI route 28 is a solid runner up. In this transit rich city, it’s off what’s basically a hiking trail next to a freeway onramp.

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