America’s Best Bus Stops Semifinals: East Coast Heavyweights
Editor’s note: this is the first semi-finals bout in our contest to find America’s Best Bus Stop 2022. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to vote, and check back Friday for our next match-up between Juneau and Portland, Maine.
We’re kicking off the semi-finals with a battle between two east coast heavyweights, both of which are nearly brand new — though that’s about where their similarities end.
We can’t wait to see what Streetsblog readers think of this match up, which pits a stop along a celebrated busway in one of the most-ridden transit networks in America against an exciting new transit center in a region that’s just beginning to expand their conversation about shared transportation.
Let’s get right into it.
This state-of-the-art stop along Boston’s Columbus Avenue Busway pulled out a solid 63 percent victory over two very worthy rivals in Milwaukee and Albany, Calif. … which probably wasn’t a huge surprise to the transitheads in our readership, considering how much love (and press) this center-running marvel has gotten since it opened late last year.
Perhaps no better endorsement came from riders themselves, 78 percent of whom said in a recent survey they were happy with the new stop (and the eight others just like it along the rapid route). Our favorite testimonial, though, came from a bus driver, who noted that getting out of private vehicle traffic is massive upgrade compared to spending the workday snarled in congestion.
Yes, sometimes cars still make their way into that bus-only lane, but it’s still a massive improvement; in the same survey, 74 percent of riders said their commutes got “much faster” after the busway was installed.
Our other contender today, the Lewes Transit Center in beachy eastern Delaware, was also designed to get riders where they needed to go a little faster — by giving them an alternative to driving in an area that’s notoriously overwhelmed by cars, particularly in the summer months when shore traffic picks up.
It’s important to point out, though, that this First State stop doesn’t just serve tourists looking to catch a wave. It also runs routes seven days a week year round, morning and night — something that Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan said happened at the direct request of many resident and business owners. Nominator Savannah Edwards adds that the regional routes served by the station can been a lifeline — and may deserve a little credit for her own marriage.
“The bus station was very useful when my now-husband and I were dating,” Edwards adds. “As a cross-state couple (he lived in Wilmington and I lived in Lewes), it was nice to know we had an additional option for visiting each other when the roads were clogged with tourists during the summer months.”
Yes, this bus center is still just a small part of the mobility picture in a pretty car-dependent region. But our voters were willing to forgive that massive 250-space Park and Ride in round one in recognition of this important step towards Lewes’ less-car-dependent future — and maybe you will too.
Let’s vote. Which east coast heavyweight deserves to advance to the next round? Polls are open until Sunday, April 3 at noon. ET.
Here’s the full bracket for those of you playing along at home.