A community effort is underway to build, paint, and distribute Buffalo Bus Boxes throughout the city. Buffalo Bus Boxes are essentially places for people to sit down while they are waiting for a bus. I passed by one this morning at the corner of Elmwood and Utica (lead image). At first, I was not exactly where it came from, but I soon discovered that it was the result of a collective grassroots effort to provide comfort for the elderly and families that are standing around waiting for buses to arrive.
Each of the colorful boxes features original artwork, messages of encouragement, and/or insignias of organizations and businesses that support the effort. There are also stickers directing people to go to the Buffalo Bus Box Facebook group for more information.
I spoke to Maddie McCauley who is the orchestrator behind the project. Maddie told me that the box that I came across was a teaser, and that the rest of the boxes would be going out soon. There is currently a pilot of ten boxes, which were constructed by the Buffalo Fire Department. Artist contributors include Rudeboyz Artworks, which recently moved into a building at 418 West Ferry Street.
Maddie said that Rochester worked on a similar project. Councilman David Rivera stepped up in the Niagara District to secure funding for the project. Maddie also mentioned that she also got support from the NFTA, Citizens for Regional Transit (CRT), and GObike Buffalo. The final piece of the puzzle was help from local business owners, who will keep an eye on the boxes, and even store them in the wintertime.
According to Maddie, the intention is to show transit riders that people care about them, which is a selfless endeavor that goes a long way to demonstrating that Buffalo truly is The City of Good Neighbors.
Keep a lookout for the Buffalo Bus Boxes around town. And if you’re feeling like you need to take a load off while waiting for the bus, feel free to grab a seat and relax.