We’ve probably all seen these cords on the Harvard shuttles. They represent a very elegant solution to a very common problem. Without a stop request system, you would have to communicate with the driver directly, which might be unfeasible on a crowded shuttle. Some other bus systems use buttons on poles throughout the bus. These too aren’t ideal as they might be hard to see, blocked by someone or something in the way, or just out of reach. The cords instead span the entire shuttle along the side and are right above sitting level. They are convenient both for sitters to reach up or for standers to reach out. Even in the worst, most crowded situations, the cords are easily accessible for you (or at least the people on either side of you who you can ask) to grab. These cords represent an underappreciated solution to a common pain point.
Note: Sorry if this is a repeat post. I typed out a post already and thought I posted it but now I can’t find it and I’m not sure what happened to it.