When we started the “Umbrella Project” years ago, it was clear that Lafayette needed a solution bringing dignity to our bus riders. At the time Lafayette had over 500 bus stops, and just 35 had shelters. There were opportunities circling around the community to provide a solution, and designing a replicable, affordable, sustainable, and low maintenance option was one of them. That’s why the Bus Stop project was so near and dear to many of us.
We’ve come full circle since that time. The funding was given in the hopes of developing a less expensive, low installation option. After three years of exploration, meetings with manufacturers, artists, industrial engineers, designers and public transportation it was determined that the cost of installation and manufacturing whether designed new or purchasing a similar item now offered on the market by a bus stop manufacturer, would exceed the $5,000 cost to simply put a full shelter, as already used in Lafayette. We’ve decided to pivot.
Since the Umbrella Project, a spotlight was turned on bus stops and we were approached by Councilwoman Liz Hebert about working together on a public/private partnership called “Adopt A Stop.” This program is intended to secure funding to build more than 600 shelters at Lafayette Transit System bus stops across the City of Lafayette. This was an initiative that included both the full shelter and would also include the Umbrella Project, once the product was identified. Through our involvement with this program and learning what we have about the challenges with the Umbrella Project product, we feel the best move forward would be to partner with this program to secure a bus stop using the funds generated from the 24HCP. We feel that this option is also more permanent, more ADA accessible and can accommodate more people.
While the project started on a path to design our own model, after much consideration, our team feels that this move would fulfill the project’s goals while also contributing to the Adopt a Stop program which is already having a positive impact in the community.
In terms of next steps, we are identifying a location for the cover, and will keep all of the Community and Backers informed of when and where the bus stop is installed.
Team Bus Stops