March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, so it’s maybe a good time to tell a story about a unique place to catch a bus.
In Scotland’s Shetland Islands, in the North Sea, there’s an island called Unst. It’s actually the Shetland Islands’ northernmost inhabited island.
It has a 16th century castle, Viking ruins and a famous nature reserve, as well as some 600 residents who live, work and go to school.
Back in 1996, the village council in Baltasound decided to take down a bus shelter, which got the attention of a 7 year old called Bobby Macaulay.
He wrote to the newspaper and said, my friends and I use this shelter when we’re waiting for the school bus, could you please put a new one back up?
And a new shelter did go up where the old one had been. But that wasn’t all.
Someone (it’s not clear who) started decorating the bus shelter.
They added a table and a sofa for Bobby and the other bus riders to use.
Later, the bus shelter got its own TV, its own carpet, and a heater for cold days.
Then, a guestbook for all the tourists who wanted to see this unusual bus stop.
It became a local tradition to make the shelter super comfortable and super colorful.
For years, residents would decorate the shelter around a theme: space, underwater, the World Cup, things like that.
It’s even had its own pet hamsters from time to time!
I mean, I wouldn’t say no to a bus stop that’s all fancy and colorful and everybody’s proud of, would you?
Or, if you prefer stories about driving, here’s one: the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, is now hosting an exhibit called “Disco Decade Rides: Cars of the 1970s.”
That’s a time when cars were cars. Actually, back then, a lot of cars were the size of like three cars.
Waiting in Style (Futility Closet)
Disco Decade Rides: Cars of the 1970s (Studebaker National Museum)
Bus shelter photo by Peter Stenzel via Flickr/Creative Commons