Baltimore’s European-Inspired Bus Stop
Playful bus stop designs are common overseas but relatively new to America.
You can’t miss it. Its designers call it an “obvious bus stop.” Bill Gilmore, executive director of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, calls it “hit-you-over-the-head simple.” At 14 feet tall and 7 feet wide, the structure, which spells out “B-U-S” in wood and steel, is indeed eye-catching. Designed by the Madrid-based artist collective mmmm, each letter is big enough to accommodate two to four people at a time. According to the artists, the “B” protects bus riders from the elements, the “U” frames the sky and the curve of the “S” invites passengers to sit back and relax while they wait. While the “U” and “S” are raised off the ground, the “B” is just a few inches high so as to be accessible to people with limited mobility. Located on South East Avenue in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore -- one of three arts districts in the city -- the bus shelter was installed last summer using money from private grants. While still relatively new in the U.S., playful bus stop designs are more common in Europe.