A couple weeks ago when the Denver Metro area was experiencing artic temperatures, I made the decision to celebrate getting on a new project for my job by going to a bar in Capitol Hill. Knowing that I did not want to walk all the way to my apartment in Uptown, I took the 15L to Broadway and walked from the Civic Center station.
While I was waiting for the bus, I felt the need to comment on the new, enhanced bus stops that have been built up and down Colfax in October of 2021. Here is my experience using the one located on Colfax and Josephine.
While I was waiting at this bus stop at 10:00 at night, I should qualify that I waited upward of 15 minutes and was incredibly bundled up, which may not make my experience representative of the average 15 user.
The stop itself had on arched roof, which appeared to protect the bench inside of it from the worst of the elements. Though with the initial promise of provided real-time information on where the next bus would be, the inside of the stop was more of a refuge with ad-display than anything else.
Noticeably, the small bench on the inside of the shelter was fairly unencumbered by the elements, contrasting to the bench that was on the outside of the shelter. For me, the biggest disappointment was that bench outside the shelter, which exhibited elements of hostile architecture that are commonplace for a lot of benches around Denver.
The trash can next to the stop was a welcome element for me, as many RTD stops along Colfax do not have areas to dispose, often placing the onus on drivers to dispose of trash.
Security wise, there was a camera on the top left of the bus stop. As a former security guard, I was curious about the quality of the video on the camera and wondering who exactly was watching it, my guess being RTD’s contract security, Allied Universal.
As I boarded the bus, I thought about the station I left. While a vast improvement over existing infrastructure, I feel like there were a couple key elements missing. Having some sort of heating elements would be appreciated, along with some sort of mechanism at the station to alert the oncoming driver of your intent to board, something important given the times that drivers may pass someone by given their inability to see the person. Overall, however, I believe the stops are a step in the right direction, serving as an element once Colfax adopts BRT buses in the mid-future.
Featured image is a shot of the Colfax and Josephine bus shelter.
EDIT: As a clarification for this article, real-time bus displays do exist. However, they are mainly located at the primary stations along Colfax, and were glitchy when I went up to them. This is one I took earlier tonight around 6:30 PM. This was reported to RTD