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Make a Bus Rider’s Life Easier

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People actually consider waiting at the bus stop for buses as among the most unhappy moments of their life,”

A Seat at the Stop

Lynn Terlaga

by Lynn Terlaga

Bus stops are the front door to American public transit systems: they are where half of transit riders wait for service, particularly low-income riders. While agencies carefully plan and approve high budgets for sleek designs in rail stations or transit centers, they often forgo basic improvements to bus stops.” Transitcenter.org

Municipalities and transit authorities are not trying to make life more difficult for transit riders. They may have lost sight of the little things that they can change today, for nothing. The no-cost kind of nothing.  Before we talk about the fix, let’s give a shout-out to all the transit workers trying so hard to do their best and make a difference in the lives of riders. We’re not here trying to throw shade, we are offering a solution.

To quote Sonny and Cher for those of you who have lived that long, we’re learning “It’s the little things that mean a lot”. We can look at all the research and at the end of the day, Mayor John Bauters nailed it. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t need to be studied,” Bauters added. “You don’t need to study whether or not people need to sit — especially people who are older, people have mobility issues, people with children, people who’ve walked along the way, or who are carrying things.” Simple enough, right?

You don’t need to study whether or not people need to sit

So, what are the little things to fix this? How about a place to sit or place bags, nothing fancy, a bench works. Is it too much to ask for armrests to use as an anchor to sit and get up? Seating at bus stops can seriously improve the rider’s experience. Oh, and add a place to throw that empty coffee cup and the wrapper from the breakfast burrito. It’s that simple.  Of course, we can keep adding trees, lights, electronic bus messaging, restrooms, and the list goes on.  Yet in reality, the growing list is growing the timeline to get anything at all done.

People actually consider waiting at the bus stop for buses as among the most unhappy moments of their life,” says Yingling Fan, a University of Minnesota associate professor who specializes in planning and policy.  This is one we can solve, now with a place to sit.

If your town, city, or transit authority has a bus stop consisting of a pole in the ground and a worn path to a bare spot in the grass, I can help. COA’s bus bench and recycling partnerships are a set-and-forget-it option. We’ve been handling ALL the details for 39 years. Yeah, we’ve got that down.

Our benches are designed to be aesthetically pleasing while preventing misuse and vagrancy. They provide an ADA-compliant resting place and fit where bus shelters may not.

COA provides 100% of the funding associated with purchasing, installing, and maintaining high-quality public space benches, recycling stations, and bike racks. We also generate a sustainable revenue stream for our partners.

To learn more about our program I invite you to call, text, or email me. Making people’s lives easier is good for everyone. Reach out today.  Show some appreciation to a transit worker too!

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