Bus stops in Denver: kinda OK


Photo// Korina Rojo

The RTD bus system serves as a part-time home for the many people who spend endless hours of their lives waiting for buses that never arrive on time. Luckily, though their scheduling is flaky at best, RTD provides welcoming amenities at all bus stops throughout the Denver metro area.

While waiting for their buses, patrons can take a seat on metal benches, which become shockingly comfortable after frantically running to the bus stop only to find that the bus is late, yet again. However, patrons have to be quick to snag a bench—seating is sparse, with only one to two benches per bus stop, and sometimes none at all. Don’t worry if there are no benches available, the freezing cold concrete is always welcoming of asses and feet alike. Be sure to kick away those stray shards of glass from beer bottles and any lingering trash to make the experience a more comfortable one.

The weather in Denver can be unpredictable, but riders can find refuge from rain or shine in various forms of shelter. Some of the more luxurious stops offer a four-by-four shack for patrons to pack themselves into like sardines while they all ignore how close together they are. Others reside near buildings, where riders can squash themselves against the wall and hope the lip of the roof protects them from the golf-ball sized hail raining down upon them.

The bus stops are also great places to make a new friend. While waiting for their unpredictable buses, patrons can awkwardly stand near strangers and half-smile at each other occasionally, both waiting for the other person to start an uncomfortable conversation. Some strangers are friendlier than others, taking it upon themselves to converse with everyone who comes within a five foot radius of them, whether or not the other person is interested in talking to them.

Street-side entertainment is available to riders in the form of dog-watching, loud construction, and people shouting at transit officers, tourists, and street signs. The many scents of Denver—including cigarette smoke, smog, and piss—add to the ambiance of downtown’s many spectacles. If they’re lucky, patrons might even be able to enjoy the ear-splitting scream of a fire truck, ambulance, or five police cars in a row.

Some bus stops are even within a few feet of coffee shops and food carts. Riders can enjoy Chicago-style hot dogs and ridiculously expensive Starbucks drinks while they wait for their bus to arrive. The real fun, however, comes in the middle of the transaction as the cashier is slowly doling out change and patrons can see their bus pulling up to the stop outside. The adrenaline rush gives patrons a thrill as they run for their bus and wave their arms feverishly, trying to catch the bus driver’s attention before they leave.

Waiting for public transportation can be a chore, but many Denver residents rely on the bus system to get to school and work and to complete everyday tasks. Patrons are lucky that RTD provides a dependable transportation service and a hospitable, cozy environment throughout the city.

Gem Sheps
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