Great news! We have found an existing vendor who can make some minor modifications to provide a shelter on a single pole stop! We are working with this vendor on developing the prototype and pricing for this as a solution for some of our missing bus shelters. We have tried so many avenues to get this project just right for our community and we feel the best about this effort by far. We look forward to celebrating the installation of the first one with all of you!
Kate Durio (Team Leader)
Since we embarked on the necessary mission of putting a cover at every bus stop, the community has backed this effort. We now receive pictures of people waiting for the bus in the elements including the hot sun, rain and cold wind. It is heartbreaking. And more and more people are taking notice and refusing to accept this for our own community. We had our first Citizen Bus Stop Task Force meeting a little over two years ago, when there were much less people taking notice or looking to get involved to address this issue. We spent this time learning, listening and understanding how our transit system works, where bus stops are located, how many shelters we already have, how we get more, what they cost, how they are installed and what issues are preventing shelters at all stops. Sometimes, we learned it’s funding. Other times we learned it was right of way issues. But because of citizens like you, through the 24Hour Citizen Project, we had $5,000 to get to work, while we were listening, learning and understanding.
What we had was the ability to not only create a more affordable bus stop that takes up less right of way, but because we took the time to understand the bus system, we could create a better bus stop. We teamed up with local artist, CeCe Cole and local architect and artist, Joel Breaux and designed a lean, replicable, sustainable, creative, safe and durable bus shelter. The $5,000 grant will go to the research and development and building the first prototype to be installed with LCG Public Works to test in the elements and adhere to all of their safety requirements. We are nearing the sourcing of the components we need to construct that prototype. However, in the meantime, we will be hosting another Citizen Bus Stop Task Force meeting in March. All are welcome.
Kate Durio (Team Leader)
Since our last update in March 2017, we’ve expanded our team and vision. The project now has benefitted from the addition of Lafayette artist, CeCe Cole, architect Joel Breaux, structural engineer Alison Lognion and Lafayette Transit System Engineer Warren Abadie. Since then, the visual direction has moved away from the umbrella concept, and has taken a more creative, interactive and culturally significant design. The current design is modeled after something you would find in nature (i.e., a tree that is a natural shelter provider). The inclusion of local artists in this process has become a living laboratory for the city of Lafayette to experiment with including more creatives in community investments and improvements for better, more innovative solutions.
Our project has stayed true to its mission, and has maintained the $1,500-$3,000 target budget per stop and maintained the same goal of providing shelter, seating, lighting, route information and trash cans to each stop. We’re currently sourcing with different vendors in town to build the components that make up the bus stop. These materials include a combination of aluminum (pole and shelter braces), polycarbonate (shelter with textured pattern) and concrete or rubber-dipped metal for seating.
We continue to learn as the project team has grown and design has changed. When approaching an improved rider experience, it is important to keep in mind: maintenance, replication, sustainability, replacement, cost, predictability and putting the rider needs first. We’ve kept this in mind throughout the entire process.
While, the offer from the Mayor to utilize a staff structural engineer has reduced the cost for research and development, it has added additional time to the process as well. As for our new timeline, we anticipate completed structural engineer drawings in December 2017, and will have a completed prototype by February 2018. This leaves our final timeline to having the final installation of the prototype completed by Spring 2018 and implementation beginning in early 2019. We realize that the timeline and vision for the project has changed since its inception, and we’ve had to sacrifice our timelines for the sake of ensuring rider experience and a quality design. We’re still very confident in the direction, pace, and bus shelter design.
Brittany Broussard and Kate Durio (Team Bus Stop Shelter)