America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Chapel Hill vs. Tampa


America is full of scary bus stops, thousands of them — that much we know. To keep things manageable we limit our Sorriest Bus Stop competition to a field of 16, and now the voters have winnowed it down to a pool of eight, with Omaha taking out St. Louis for the last spot in the second round.

Today, in what figures to be a fierce contest, Chapel Hill is taking on Tampa for a shot at the Final Four.

Let’s get down to business.

Chapel Hill

chapel hill bus stop

This stop was submitted by Kira Glynn, who makes the point that a lot of people actually use this bus stop despite the threat of fast traffic. Look at that poor guy trying to run across.

Kira writes:

Now that school is in session at UNC, I was able to get a more representative photo of what the foot traffic at this bus stop looks like. These people are crossing the highway in between bouts of speeding cars. Practically gives me a heart attack every time.

I also found a good Google Maps shot right down the middle of the highway that shows a woman crossing the street from the bus stop holding a baby:

pedestrian with baby

Yeesh. These bus stop photos really convey the systemic inequality the pervades our transportation system. If you can’t afford a car, you are on your own in a hostile environment.

Agencies responsible: NC DOT, Chapel Hill Transit.



An anonymous reader submitted this stop in Brandon, Florida, outside Tampa Bay. It overcame an awfully bad stop in Prince George’s County in the first round.

The advocates at Urban Tampa Bay tell us:

This bus stop is along what the Hillsborough County government considers a “complete street.” If you look closely, this road has painted bike lanes, a sidewalk and the bus stop even has a bench. These features were added at considerable extra expense. This miserable streetscape, that only the most desperate pedestrians would ever dare use, was sold to taxpayers as being explicitly pedestrian-friendly. To us, that’s what makes it the worst bus stop in America.

Urban Tampa Bay also reports that the nearest signalized crossing “is so far away that there is another bus stop before you get to it.”


Agencies responsible: Hillsborough County Public Works, HART.

This is going to be a tough call.

Which bus stop is sorriest?

  • Chapel Hill (65%, 178 Votes)
  • Tampa (35%, 96 Votes)

Total Voters: 274


9 thoughts on America’s Sorriest Bus Stop: Chapel Hill vs. Tampa

  1. The Chapel Hill one is not fair. There is a bus stop directly on the other side of the road from that one. There is no reason people need to be crossing. If it is a matter of timing then yes it is inconvenient but by no means horrible.

  2. I’m giving the nod to Tampa:

    1. It’s a 6-lane highway, rather than the 4-lane highway in NC. Hence more dangerous to cross.

    2. Narrower median.

    3. No shoulders

    4. No shade in the “sunshine state.” How much sunblock will you burn through waiting for the bus?

    4. Any bus stop in a hurricane is by definition sorry.

  3. The Tampa one leaves out the best part of the description used in the first round. The wildlife that could be in that pond.

  4. Well, obviously instead of crossing the highway, all you have to do is catch the bus going the wrong direction, ride it to the end, and then ride back in the correct direction! Easy fix! No problem here!

  5. The road the bus travels is an odd freeway/street hybrid with interchanges and random stop controlled intersections like the Chapel Hill one. Given the amount of traffic coming out of the apartment complexes, I think a traffic signal would do a lot to improve the safety of pedestrians and drivers.

  6. Buses often run in loops in CH and many NC systems. To the transit dependent (and there are many) it is only 1x a day, it may be morning or night, but you gotta cross. The road is a 3% slope. The road curves at the crest. 85% is over 50 mph. It is horrible. Respect to Tampa, I see horror there, too.

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