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1994 Baltimore art installation in the running for America's Best Bus Stop

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 23:30:24-04

BALTIMORE — Given some of their conditions, we'd like to overlook some of Baltimore bus stops.

Whether they're covered in graffiti, trash or are just out right missing, they're not anything to boast about.

But there's one that's capturing the nation's attention.

Designed in 2014, the art installation also serves as a bus station. It's one of a kind.

The three huge letters spell out BUS and give public transit riders a different type of shelter. 

"It's unique," said Bethany Sholtz. "It's not something you would think of as a bus stop, but it fits this neighborhood it fits."

"This gives you the opportunity to appreciate art while waiting for the bus," said Kelly Lapp.

The Baltimore bus stop offers riders the option to wait under the “B”-shaped shelter, sit in the nook of the “U,” or even lie down in the crook of the “S." 

Artist Emilio Alarcón told Slate that the goal of the project was “to create a very friendly bus stop to contrast with the industrial city,” while still employing conventional industrial materials like wood and steel.

For that and the memories the installation has created for thousands of photographs, it's up for the tiltle of America's Best Bus stop. 

It's the fourth and final first-round match-up on USA Streets Blog. In this round the Charm city is up against bus stops in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Portland, Main. 

"Ours is definitely different than theirs," said Clara Weaver. "It's really sturdy. I’m impressed with it. I feel like I could just vibe and lay down here for a nice rest. It certainly has my vote."

To get in on the voting action and learn more about the other bus stops click here.

Not only is the bus stop competition good for the city but it's also good for the Creative Alliance.

In a statement Amanda Smit-Peters, Highlandtown Main Street Manager said:

"We are thrilled to have BUS included in this contest featuring fabulous bus stops around the country! Here in Highlandtown, Southeast CDC and Creative Alliance collaborate regularly with local artists to host art installations, performances and more to welcome community members to interact with this amazing public art and public transit sculpture, originally created by Mmmm….We appreciate your vote and can’t wait for you to visit BUS in person if you haven’t already!"