Charlottesville Area Transit designing new bus shelters

As it seeks to find new drivers, Charlottesville Area Transit is also working to redesign its bus shelters. The agency has hired the firm Wendel Companies to come up with a customized template, and the Regional Transit Partnership got a briefing on the work last month.

“We’re really looking at how to look at transit holistically, how to encourage people to take transit,” said Jeana Stright of Wendel Companies. “Part of what makes people want to take public transportation is having a place to wait for the bus, having amenities while you are there, or having a system for what reflects their needs.” 

Option 1 uses some of the design features of the Downtown Transit Session. View the presentation to see all three 

Three concepts for the future shelters have been designed, one of which mimics the design of the Downtown Transit Station on Water Street. Stright recommends benches be present in all shelters, as well as space for wheelchairs. She also suggests one modular design with easy to replace parts due to the possibility of vandalism. 

“We are also looking at a way to incorporate local artists or local communities into the stops to be able to help yourself as you’re riding along on the bus as well, as you’re passing these different shelters, seeing different art, seeing different color schemes perhaps as part of that art panel, so that you can say ‘I’ve driven by that really cool fruit graphic,” Stright said. 

The partnership was asked to provide feedback. There was no specific information provided about how much each would cost, or how much of a budget CAT has to install the shelters. However, Stright said they have researched costs and all three options would be in the same basic price range. 

One member of the partnership said she was concerned about the practicality of some of the shelters. 

“I love all the designs but once again it’s a question of taxpayer’s dollars,” said Albemarle Supervisor Bea LaPisto-Kirtley. “And the artwork I think is great if we can afford it. But I like simple.”

Albemarle Supervisor Diantha McKeel said she has been working with CAT Director Garland Williams on the idea of incorporating artwork into some bus shelters. 

“That artwork would need to be funded privately by neighborhoods,” McKeel said. “We wouldn’t be using [tax] dollars. You know, the murals that got put up on Georgetown, and Barracks, and Hydraulic? Those were all privately funded so that’s what we’d be talking about.” 

McKeel said it was crucial that the shelters provide relief from the sun and rain. 

See also: Next steps outlined for Charlottesville Area Transit route changes at partnership meetings, June 24, 2022

August 10, 2022 update:

I asked David Dillehunt how much CAT was paying the Wendell Companies for the bus shelter design work.

Phase 1: $8,467
Phase 2 (current phase): $25,699

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the July 1, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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