Years of persistence paid off this spring for Project Bus Stop, a group comprising North Fork high school students who worked together to get bus shelters installed along Main Road in Southold Town.
Their determination is being rewarded by the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, which is honoring the teenagers for their role in improving the lives of those who use public transit.
“This is something they stayed with for a long time,” said county Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who nominated the group for the award. “It’s good to acknowledge their perseverance.”
Project Bus Stop will receive the award from the Inter-Faith Anti-Bias Task Force next week, according to Mr. Krupski’s office. The teens had long fought for more bus shelters on the North Fork’s county bus routes, saying those who use the bus had to stand in snow, rain or poor weather while waiting.
“This was a group of young people who thought that something as simple as a bus stop could improve people’s quality of life,” Mr. Krupski said. “These are people who stand out in the weather and a bus stop makes a difference.”
Installation of the bus shelters began in April after the students — members of the youth group from Southold’s First Universalist Church — spent nearly four years lobbying state, county and town officials.
The teenagers said they’d originally thought the bus shelter project could be completed within a year. Now, many of the students are on the verge of heading to college, having spent their entire high school careers pushing through red tape.
Mr. Krupski said the bus stops are already seeing lots of use.
“You see people using it and you realize it was a good thing,” he said.
Since the formal award presentation is set to take place in Hauppauge on a school day, Mr. Krupski plans to arrange a future photo op for Project Bus Stop members at one of the shelters they made possible.
Photo: Standing, from left: Vivienne Glasser, Southold; Thomas Spackman, Greenport; Gwyn Foley, Cutchogue; John Batuello, Cutchogue; Connor Morrison, Greenport. Kneeling: Ethan Sisson, Southold, left; Sam Shaffery, Cutchogue, right. Not shown: Ashley Alexander, Southold (Katharine Schroeder file photo).