For centuries, censuses have been carried out by rulers and governments to count all the people within a society. In modern times, the concept of a census in the United States is becoming antiquated, according to author Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, as Google and Facebook know a whole lot more about the U.S. population than the national Census Bureau.
The Bus Stops Here indulges in the question of what we should be counting if we are no longer counting people in the next decade. When looking for data points that “Big Tech” companies seemingly know very little about, you can turn to transit. Sparse information is available about the sidewalk conditions, sign information, and nighttime lighting available at a neighborhood bus stop. The Bus Stops Here archives deteriorating bus stop conditions, explores the social space of a bus stop, and dreams of a future people-powered census to gather information from all corners of the GRTC Transit System.
If we can count 300 million transient people every decade, we should be able to count the 1,600 bus stops in Richmond every few years to aggregate information about their conditions and strive for a humane and accessible state of good repair.