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A Basic Shelter Can Make the Wait for the Bus Feel Shorter

Twin Cities riders believed transit arrived more quickly at shelters or stations compared with stops at curbside signs.
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Susan Sermoneta/Flickr

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Waiting for the bus can be brutal. Sometimes it gets so bad that our minds start to play tricks on us, and the wait feels even longer than it actually is. A 1993 study found that one minute of wait time felt closer to 4.4 minutes of travel time. That means that if you have a 20-minute commute, you might feel like you should have been home already after a 5-minute wait.

Fortunately, transit agencies and experts are starting to appreciate ways to make the wait feel better. In addition to, you know, actually running more buses, deploying real-time transit information makes wait times far more bearable. And, believe it or not, the quality of the bus stop itself might make a difference, too—with a general rule that the nicer the setting, the easier the wait.