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Guidelines for placing and removing waiting shelters

Shelter placement guidelines

Metro Transit buses serve nearly 12,300 bus stops, 67 Park & Ride lots and 28 Transit Centers. With so many stops and facilities, Metro Transit must prioritize where shelters are located.

These considerations are made when determining where to locate a shelter:Maintenance crew at work installing a customer shelter.

Daily Boardings – To qualify for a standard shelter, a suburban location must have at least 25 passenger boardings per day. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, a location must have at least 40 passenger boardings per day. The number of boardings at a stop is determined using the most recent and complete available data for the fall of each year. 

Site Suitability – Available space, site conditions (slope, obstructions, etc.) and proximity to the bus stop sign are considered when determining site suitability.

Metro Transit also tries to avoid placing shelters in areas that may obstruct signage, windows or entry into a building. Long-term maintenance challenges, such as snow removal and accessibility to repair parts of the shelter, are also considered.

Customers with limited mobility – By tracking the boarding locations of customers paying fares with mobility Go-To Cards, Metro Transit can further prioritize locations based on the number of daily boardings by customers with limited mobility.

Demographics, including race/ethnicity and income status, are considered to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Environmental Justice policy aimed at addressing disparate impacts on minority and low-income populations.

Transit Transfers are also considered in shelter prioritization, as customers transferring are likely to be waiting as part of their transit trip.

Lighting and on-demand heating is installed in shelters if conditions allow and there are a sufficient number of boardings to justify the costs. Heating is considered where there are at least 80 boardings per day.

Shelters are typically located within five- to six-feet of a bus stop sign, where customers get on and off buses. In most cases, shelters are located “near side,” meaning the bus will stop just beyond the shelter site. Shelters are separated from the stop to provide room for customers who board or exit the bus using a mobility device and to allow for easier snow removal.   

> Read more about shelter designs here

Shelter removal

Metro Transit must sometimes remove or relocate shelters to ensure the highest number of customers is being served with available resources. The following considerations are made when determining when a shelter may be removed or replaced:

Low number of average daily boardings – A shelter may be removed if the number of passengers boarding per day is at least 50 percent below the standard. In a suburban location, a transit stop with approximately 12 or fewer boardings per day may be considered for removal; in Minneapolis or St. Paul, a transit stop with approximately 20 or fewer boardings per day may be considered for removal.

Shelter reaches the end of its useful life – When properly maintained, shelters typically have a 20-year life span. If a location meets boarding standards, the out-of-date shelter will be replaced with a new or used shelter. If boardings are low, the out-of-date shelter may be removed.

Shelter is damaged or destroyed – If a shelter has been damaged by a vehicle accident or other incident and has potential to create a safety hazard, it will be removed. If the location meets boarding standards, the shelter will be replaced when a new or used shelter becomes available. If the location has low boardings, the destroyed shelter will be removed and may not be replaced. 

Ongoing vandalism – Shelters damaged by persistent vandalism take maintenance staff time away from other needs and are a major constraint on Metro Transit’s maintenance budget. Metro Transit may temporarily or permanently remove a shelter with a high number of vandalism incidents in an attempt to break vandalism patterns.

Changes in right-of-way, property ownership or easements – Changes in property boundaries, easements, roadways or public right-of-way sometimes require Metro Transit to remove a shelter. Metro Transit may replace the removed shelter if the stop meets boarding standards and there is still space for a shelter after changes are made.

Requests from customers and stakeholders – Metro Transit occasionally receives requests and suggestions for removing shelters from certain locations. These requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by considering factors outlined above.

Communication of Proposed Shelter Removals

Before a shelter is removed, Metro Transit will notify customers and stakeholders at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled removal date. Notifications will provide an explanation of why the shelter is being removed as well as the proposed removal date.

Customers will be notified through signs at the shelter. In suburban locations, Metro Transit will notify the affected City Manager; if the shelter is located in Minneapolis or St. Paul, Metro Transit will notify the affected City Council person(s) and their staff members. If the shelter has been adopted by a volunteer for maintenance, Metro Transit will also notify the shelter adopter. Metro Transit will notify the affected Councilmember of the Metropolitan Council.

Custom shelters                             

Metro Transit may consider customized shelter installation and/or maintenance at locations that average at least 100 boardings per day. Design and manufacturing costs are paid by the requesting entity unless the shelter is part of a larger project, such as a bus corridor, transit center or Park & Ride lot owned and maintained by Metro Transit. In such cases, Metro Transit’s contribution toward design and manufacturing will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Maintenance, repair and replacement costs of custom portions of a shelter are paid by the requesting entity.                                                     

Metro Transit may maintain non-custom portions of a shelter if the requesting entity and Metro Transit sign an agreement outlining shelter maintenance responsibilities; the custom shelter is built with glass that meets Metro Transit’s standard glass specifications; and the custom shelter design includes specifications for Metro Transit’s standard customer information holders.

Shelter comments or concerns can be directed to Customer Relations at 612-373-3333 or contact us here


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