Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Stop a moment

2 sided + bottom perch bus stop
just as I am about be a free sardine I feel the need to fast forward chronologically and rewind geographically for a moment and talk about stops and stations and the two bus journey.

Firstly I define a bus station as a location with stands for more than three buses at a time, shelter from the elements for the passengers and other amenities from bottom rests to seats, lights to shops and amenity or annoyance, piped music.

gab a seat before it vanishes
A stop is at its simplest a place where a bus does exactly that, stops.  The basic version is a pole with a sign for the buses which stop there, the next level up the pole has a timetable sealed in perspex detailing all of the buses which serve the stop and their times. Then we have the stops with shelters, the designs vary between older brick built shelters and newer designs with metal frames and perspex panels.

Brick bus stop

Both can have three walls back and side or have an additional section of wall and openings for entrance /exit.  The brick have the disadvantage (unless you are superman), that you can not see through the walls to tell if the bus is coming and have to step out of the shelter regularly to check.  The perspex is often the victim of vandalism either scratched , written on, melted and occasionally broken, spoiling either the view or the protection from the weather.

Starting bus station

I start at a bus station which I described earlier, although I note that the seats are slowly diminishing in numbers, by the gaps on the floor I can count 24 less seats then when we started.
Not a problem early when so few people are there, all silly of the morning people like me, but later when it gets busy seats are at a premium.

On the two bus journey I have a choice of where to alight from the first bus and catch the next depending on which first bus I am on (there is currently a choice of three at various times).  I tend to pick the sheltered stop at which my second bus starts  its journey as all three 1st buses stop there.  This is a four wall perspex shelter, it once had bottom rests but they were melted and broken and have not been replaced.  Occasionally here I can smell English breakfasts cooking and although I have had my breakfast still the smells make my mouth water. 

The next option, only one bus goes this far, it is a half brick, half perspex bus station with bottom rests and lights, as it is a station it is an option in both directions.  It is a safety net going in case I nap past stop number one (but only on the right bus and the outward journey) and coming home the weather is more of a consideration.
Tunnel bus stop
Black plastic bottom perches

Last chance is a bus top same style as option 1 but with its counter part directly opposite, two buses at each stop fit here OK.  This is the sight of my litter incident, stay on past here and I will be well on my way to a different destination entirely and another hour before a safe turn around. I have not done that yet.

Four walls with two entrance/exit gaps

That brings us back to my destination and stepping out of the tin...