More than 200 new and replacement waiting shelters have been installed over the past seven years, primarily in neighborhoods where there are more people of color or incomes are lower than the regional average.
Customers will see another 270 new and replacement shelters appear over the next five years. Shelters are placed at stops with the highest number of boardings, in neighborhoods where more households don’t have access to a vehicle and in locations that serve people with disabilities, older adults and others with special needs.
“We’ve made a significant amount of progress, but we still have work to do in order to provide a universally positive experience for all customers at bus stops,” said Marilyn Porter, Director of Engineering & Facilities. “To improve the customer experience, we must continue to grow – and just as importantly maintain – our shelter system.”
This year, 25 new shelters will be installed and 30 existing shelters that are around 20 years old will be replaced.
Some of the new shelters going in this year are being placed near shopping centers where ridership has remained strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, like the Cub Foods on York Avenue in Edina and near the Target entrance on Hamline Avenue in Saint Paul.
Light will be added at around two-dozen shelter locations this year, including several stops along Franklin Avenue. On-demand heat will be added at 11 shelters.
In addition to the new shelters, up to 150 concrete pads are expected to be installed over the next five years at stops where there isn’t a shelter. The pads provide a flat boarding area and make boarding easier for people using mobility devices or strollers.
A design guide that cities, counties developers, and community members can reference when making sidewalk or road improvements or building near a bus stop has also been made available. The guide is being offered so bus stop improvements can be incorporated into other projects.