If you follow Streetsblog USA, you’ll have noticed their recent contest to find the Sorriest Bus Stop in America (BTW, they found it, and it’s not far from my old stomping grounds in Silver Spring, MD). The entire series of sorriest bus stops is an amusing and sad display.

I found my own version of the sorriest bus stop on Wednesday when I went to the NC Department of Motor Vehicles in Carrboro. As a new NC resident, I needed to update my driver’s license – and so did my roommate, who has a car. We carpooled there together (more on carpooling in a future post!) but she ended up needing some paperwork before she could get her license, so facing a multi-hour wait, I sent her on her way and faced the DMV alone.

I successfully acquired a restricted driver’s license (again, more content for a future post on NC driver’s license idiosyncrasies) and faced my journey home with excitement. This was the first time I was out and about taking transit in “real Carrboro” – not the dense, walkable, grad student-oriented part of Main Street that I call home – but the suburban, low-density, highway part. All my training and years of carlessness had been coming down to this moment.

My excitement was quickly dispelled. As my transit app quickly identified, a few bus routes are located near the Carrboro DMV, including the CW, the CPX, and the JFX. Great! However, frequency midday was not great. The CW, which I needed to take in a specific direction to get home, was running once per hour. So I settled in for a bit of a wait.

And this was the bus stop. Not the worst, but not pleasant with the sun beating down. This picture doesn’t do it justice. In the second picture, you can see the stop’s location in front of a gas station and adjacent to a busy, sprawl-y intersection. In the middle of the picture there’s a lone person waiting.

Image of the sorriest bus stop in Carrboro
Sorriest bus stop in Carrboro
Google maps street view screenshot of the sorriest bus stop in Carrboro.
Google Maps – Sorriest bus stop in Carrboro

So there you have my first transit trip!

I’m trying out a format below to succinctly describe my car-free trips. Let me know if there’s additional info you’d like to see.

Trip: W Main St at Simpson St – E Main St at Arts Center Plaza
Total trip time: 50 minutes = 25 waiting + 25 riding
Bus line: CW
Bus frequency: 60 minutes
Level of crowding: Full
Bus stop quality: 2 of 5 stars (+ for signage with line and timetable, – for lack of shade and shelter from busy road)

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