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Bus Community Shelters

Shelters for small spaces introduced 

| Friday, July 29, 2016 9:58:00 AM

The “slim shelters” are two feet deep at the base but still have the standard four-foot deep rooftop to provide shade and protection from the elements. The shelters will also have a small bench and a location for transit information.A new type of waiting shelter that fits in locations with limited sidewalk space was introduced this week.

The “slim shelters” are two feet deep at the base but still have the standard four-foot deep rooftop to provide shade and protection from the elements. The shelters will also have a small bench and a location for transit information.

The new shelters were designed for bus stops where standard shelters — four or six feet deep at their base — would have gotten in the way of pedestrians. There are 40 sites where the new slim shelters could be installed over the next few years.

The shelters were developed with input from customers, members of the Transit Accessibility Advisory Committee and Metro Transit staff.

The new shelters are part of an ongoing effort to improve bus stops throughout the region through the Better Bus Stops program.

More than 40 new shelters are expected to be installed by the end of the year, including 18 slim shelters. Another 50 shelters that were privately owned and managed are also due to be replaced in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Roseville and West St. Paul this year.

Metro Transit continues to work with local community groups to get feedback that will influence potential changes to shelter placement guidelines and future bus stop improvements. The engagement efforts are focused on areas of concentrated poverty where more than half of residents are people of color.

A region-wide survey​ about bus stops is also ongoing.​

    > Photos: Slim Shelters

    > Better Bus Stops

    > Better Bus Stops Survey

Bus Community METRO Blue Line Shelters

In S. Minneapolis, new shelter ‘shines like a beacon’ 

| Tuesday, November 24, 2015 9:52:00 AM

Ann Erickson, owner of Keen Eye Coffee, Doris Overby, a neighborhood block leader, and Francy Scurato, also a neighborhood block leader, with the shelter they adopted at the corner of East 38th Street and South 28th Avenue. After years of campaigning, Standish-Ericsson resident Francy Scurato finally got her wish.

Earlier this year, Metro Transit removed a rusting, privately-owned shelter at the corner of East 38th Street and South 28th Avenue and put in its place a new agency-standard shelter with a bench, lighting and transit information.

On a recent morning, Scurato and others who advocated for the new shelter celebrated that victory and watched as a sign noting its adoption was centered and fastened into place. The sign includes the names of Hiawatha Square, a nearby condo, and Keen Eye Coffee, which is located just across the street.

By adopting the shelter through Metro Transit’s Adopt-A-Shelter program, Scurato, Keen Eye Coffee owner Ann Erickson and others agree to keep an eye on the site and to alert staff if any issues arise.

"Adopters are a great resource for our Facilities team, which has to cover a lot of ground," said Bill Hultberg, who manages the Adopt-A-Shelter program for Metro Transit. "We really appreciate their efforts and are happy to partner with them wherever we can."

If Scurato has noticed anything since the new shelter was installed, though, it’s that the shelter has become an invitation to take transit.

“Before, I think people were hesitant to use the shelter,” Scurato said after the sign was put into place. “Now it shines like a beacon and lights up the whole intersection. I’ve seen a lot of people using it.”

In 2014, Metro Transit took responsibility for shelters in Minneapolis that had been privately owned and operated. All such shelters will be replaced with Metro Transit shelters in the coming years. Shelters will also be placed at some locations where none had previously existed through the Better Bus Stops Program.

After giving up driving a few years ago, Scurato frequently finds herself standing in the shelter while waiting for the bus. Students at Roosevelt High School, neighbors and people visiting Keen Eye and other nearby businesses also use the stop, which is served by routes 22 and 23.

“A lot of our customers take transit, so it was kind of a no-brainer to be a part of it (adopting the shelter),” said Erickson, who opened her coffee shop two years ago.

Erickson, Scurato and others are hoping the shelter will lead to further improvements. The goal is to make the few blocks between the shelter and the METRO Blue Line’s 38th Street Station more inviting so people will be encouraged to hop off the train and explore the neighborhood.

“If you want people to come to the businesses on this street, you have to make it look nice,” Scurato said. “You can’t have dark streets and a beat-up shelter. This is a jumping little corner of town and with improvements like this we can make it even more so.”


 

Bus Community Shelters State Fair

Smaller shelter shown off at State Fair 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Wednesday, September 02, 2015 10:08:00 AM

A student-designed waiting shelter with a reduced footprint and other innovative features is on display at the Minnesota State Fair. A student-designed waiting shelter with a reduced footprint and other innovative features is on display at the Minnesota State Fair. 

The shelter was designed by architecture graduate student Amy Van Gessel as part of a class at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design and School of Architecture. Mechanical engineering graduates Alex Beane and Andrew Frey also assisted in its creation.

Made of steel and recycled plastic, the shelter includes seating, a small tabletop, a bicycle rack and a light that could indicate the next expected bus departure. The shelter is four feet deep and 13-feet long, but can be adapted to site conditions and the expected ridership at a given bus stop.

Van Gessel said the design was partly inspired by a shelter from Paris that serves not just as a waiting area but a gathering space. The shelters include bike-sharing kiosks, lending libraries, tables and a few distinct seating areas.

“In most shelters, the only option is to sit,” Van Gessel said. “This is about providing more personal spaces.”

Fairgoers seeing the shelter outside the Eco Experience building have been struck by the shelter’s bold design but warm up to it on further inspection.

“It looks and feels very different than the traditional shelter, but once that kind of initial confusion wears off and people start kicking the wheels they start opening up and having some good comments and feedback,” said adjunct instructor James Garrett Jr, AIA, who led the design class. 

Garrett Jr. is the owner of St. Paul-based 4RM+ULA, which helped design stations on the METRO Green Line and Target Field Station.

Metro Transit’s Engineering & Facilities department challenged students in Garrett’s class to design a shelter that could be used in areas with space constraints and would be powered without a utility connection. Solar panels atop the shelter provide power for the shelter.

The student’s work and input received at the State Fair will help inform future shelter plans.

Metro Transit is installing 30 shelters at new locations this year through the Bus Stop Improvements Program. Another 60 new shelters are being installed at sites in Minneapolis in a continuing effort to replace advertising shelters that were privately owned and managed until last year.

Enviro-Tech, radiustrack, Mattson Macdonald Young Structural Engineers, Gausman & Moore, Rosco, Lumos and Powerfully Green also partnered on the shelter design project.

Bus Community Safety Shelters

On West Broadway, shelters get a steward 

| Friday, May 15, 2015 8:38:00 AM

There are a few more watchful eyes making sure transit shelters along West Broadway Avenue are staying clean and safe.

The West Broadway Improvement District has adopted more than a half-dozen shelters along the North Minneapolis corridor, which stretches about two miles from the Mississippi River to Sheridan Avenue.

Clean-up crews hired to help maintain the special service district pick up litter at and between the shelters three times a week, supplementing maintenance performed by Metro Transit’s Public Facilities staff. If there are issues like broken glass or graffiti, crew members are encouraged to inform Metro Transit.

Crew members come from Better Futures Enterprises, which provides employment opportunities for adults who have faced challenges in their lives.

To recognize the Improvement District’s commitment, the group’s name and logo is featured on the adopted shelters.  

Board member Tara Watson, who owns two West Broadway businesses, said the adoptions are part of a broader mission to make the corridor a vibrant destination.

“In order to make change you’ve got to have your hands in certain things, and this is one of those things,” she said. 

After receiving approval from the city last year, the West Broadway Improvement District began providing services in January. In addition to cleaning the right-of-way, the district will support a branding effort through banners, holiday lighting and decorations. The district’s initiatives are supported through a special assessment on property owners. (Property owners voted overwhelmingly in favor of the assessments.)

More than 60 shelters have now been adopted through Metro Transit’s Adopt-A-Shelter program. The adoption of several sites is unique.

Businesses, individuals or groups that adopt shelters alert Metro Transit to special maintenance needs, report vandalism or other repair needs. Some adopters go beyond this commitment by performing light maintenance like litter removal.

Bill Hultberg, who manages the Adopt-A-Shelter program for Metro Transit, said assistance from adopters is critical to maintaining Metro Transit’s network of more than 800 shelters.

“Having those extra eyes and ears available to tell us where we’re needed is extremely helpful,” he said. “With the help of our adopters, we can quickly identify and address issues and ensure our shelters are safe, secure and clean.”

Bobby Hardimon is one of several crew members who works for Better Futures Enterprises. A 30-year resident of North Minneapolis, he said the clean-up efforts have already made a noticeable impact.

When he started going out a few months ago, it wasn’t unusual for him to come away with several bags of trash. The load gets lighter every week, Hardimon said.

“People are starting to get more conscious about it,” he said during a recent trip up the corridor.”I’m even starting to see people do it on their own.”

The shelter adoptions come amid the West Broadway Transit Study, which will identify future improvements on the corridor. Residents can learn more about the study at an open house at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, at the North Community YMCA.

Photo: Bobby Hardimon, of Better Futures Enterprises, picks up litter near a shelter at Broadway and Sheridan avenues. Hardimon is one of several crew members who work on behalf of the West Broadway Improvement District to help keep the corridor clean.

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