‘Sorry’ Bus Stop Gets an Upgrade

Here's how the once very-sorry bus stop now looks.
Here's how the once very-sorry bus stop now looks.

One of the nation’s worst bus stops has gotten a slight upgrade after reaching the Elite Eight in Streetsblog’s annual “Sorriest Bus Stops in America” contest.

This stunningly bad bus stop in Suffolk County — an eastern and largely affluent suburb of New York City — has been spruced up with a level concrete platform to replace the worn-out patch of mud and dirt that previously existed at the well-used stop, local government staff informs us.

Its inclusion on our competition caught the attention of county officials, who made a special effort to make it less sorry. Here is the result.

new bus stop

This still-sorry bus stop is not going to win any design competitions. But Jonathan Keyes, an urban planner with Suffolk County who sent us the above photo, wrote:

We’ve shifted the stop further south so that buses will stop at an improved location closer to the Long Island Women’s Empowerment Network/Family Service League. We also did some in-house engineering to regrade the site and utilized on-call contractors to lay the concrete pad. … We recognize, of course, that this stop is still far from perfect; unfortunately, for instance, there was no budget at this time for a shelter, and it is still a pad that is unconnected to a larger pedestrian network and nearby destinations.

But he says Crooked Hill Road in the town of Islip is due for a major capital upgrade and is scheduled to receive sidewalks in the next few years so this is just an interim solution. Suffolk County manages a suburban transit system with 2,729 stops, Keyes says, and operating costs have been rising faster than state support for transit. (Where have we heard that before — oh, everywhere.)

This is not the first bus stop that received an upgrade after being shamed nationwide by our annual contest. Our runner-up from 2016, in Kansas City, received a complete overhaul, that took it from entirely sorry to fully respectable in 2017. The stop serves Kauffman Stadium, where the Kansas City Royals play.

KC_beforeandafter

The goal isn’t really to fix individual bus stops, but to get local officials and the public thinking about these forgotten spaces before they are held up for national shame.

3 thoughts on ‘Sorry’ Bus Stop Gets an Upgrade

  1. Cities could make a LOT more bus stops look like the AFTER ones to make transit trips more acceptable to more people.
    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

  2. Dallas, TX has some God-awful bus stops that make some of these finalists look luxurious. How can we submit them for 2019?

  3. I’ve noticed that bus stops in the Portland and Gresham areas where there are a number of homeless people the benches provided have a metal triangle shape armrest sticking up in the middle to ensure that no one is able to lay down on the bench. This solution basically takes a bench that could, without the barrier in the middle, seat three adults, but now only two can sit. I’ve also at other locations benches obviously designed to prevent loitering or sleeping such as slanted benches where a person laying down would roll off onto the ground. I wonder if the expense of these deterrents to the comfort of the homeless are cost effective. The efforts seem extreme such as the boulders placed under bridges and underpasses to prevent the homeless from camping there. I’d think if it wasn’t for the cost of building permits that sheds or pods or some sort of shelter could be made much cheaper than some of the efforts currently being made, that probably aren’t very effective and largely inconvenience public transportation customers.

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