Commie bus stops were awesome

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I was impressed by this magnolia flower bus stop design I found in Nashville, but it really pales in comparison.

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I suppose some people might find these bus stops in Sydney a little staid, but I find them really welcoming.


Yup, Soviet Russia, a place where creativity didn’t exist, we were told. So, the obvious answer for public works is to make them as boring and standardized as possible. Because reasons.


We had a lot of creativity here in the Eastern Bloc.

…granted, the cities were somewhat grey, but after tasting both I’d take grey over the full-on blinking dancing shining colorful sensory assault of the ads, fiercely competing for every microsteradian of field of vision and every second of attention.


I thought that in Soviet Russia bus stops you!
bus stop you


Many kids out in the boonies had cute little school bus shelters at the end of their driveway:


Tru dat, but those aren’t for the bus everybody takes.

Ours was an apartment complex entry sign. Only sorta blocked the wind, so long as it was coming out of the west, which is pretty much never in Minnesota winters.


I got to stand in the living room and watch for the bus to stop at the neighbor’s and then make a mad dash to the end of the driveway (neighbor was ~1/4 mile away, so I had a fair amount of time).


Probably the only advantage to being a school age kid in middle of effin’ nowhere northern Wisconsin, eh? We didn’t have that luxury and had an inconsistent bus driver. If you didn’t get your butt out there 10 minutes before scheduled pickup time, you risked missing it. More times than I care to count, it showed up 8 or 9 minutes early.


If I missed it, I could catch it as it came back from the other direction – that usually meant that I waited 10 minutes for the return.


If those had heat they’d be wonderful little shelters–something that would be nice to have on chilly mornings. Even where I grew up in the temperate south there were mornings kids got frostbite waiting for the bus.


Jonathan Meades wrote a short essay about this book too:

Every few miles on the road to Vilnius there were cubistic concrete tents. Deserted and neglected, they were like components of some unimaginably vast pyritic bauble. There were no buses. Furthermore these curious sites were cut off. They were not close to villages or even hamlets.
Somewhere between Kaunas and Ĺ iauliai I watched a man trudge out of a deep forest clutching a plastic bag. He walked along the road to a bus shelter which, though orthogonally shaped, had been charmingly and painstakingly painted with sheep and fecund fruit trees. He was greeted by a man sitting on a bench. They opened cans of beer and put the world to rights. This was a scene I saw time and again en route to Tallinn. When did these shelters turn into drop-in centres? Does it matter? It gives them a use. And it gives people who live in remote, pub-less, village-hall-less isolation a place to hang out. The shelters provide an ad-hoc social service.

I’ve managed to find two of these on streetview, has anyone else found any?

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Looks like a typical boring German bus stop

But some stops over here are more interesting. The story of this one is semi-interesting: Suzhou and Konstanz are partner cities and a German delegation was envious of Suzhou’s bus stops in a Chinese pavilion style. A year later one of the original Chinese stops was donated and is now part of (nearly complete) medieval European historic centre .


That description does not sound quite accurate. I don’t think any of these bus stops are actually unused for their intended purpose. It’s just that bus routes in the countryside aren’t intended for regular commutes - in remote places, only one bus may pass a stop per day, or not even that during weekends. And “pass” is usually the right word - country buses don’t normally stop at intermediate stops unless there are people waiting or some passengers ask to be let off there in advance. Though because of that, if you want to get on a bus you better show up at the stop well in advance, in case it has sped past all previous stops and is going to arrive earlier than scheduled. And you might as well bring refreshments, as the gentlemen described did…

Anyway, here’s one and two I’ve passed a lot of times, not featured in the gallery.

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Ooohh… symmetrical pink modernist bus stop.
If someone inside the circular window in the middle served good coffee it would make for a superb little structure in any city.


Vat do you mean boring, don’t you see ze frisky turquoise stripe on ze garbage container matching ze sign post!!


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