While public transit may have an image issue, there are many reasons why people don’t ride. While two-thirds of people support mass transit, only 5 percent of commuters travel that way. Energy efficiency faces much the same problem. Despite knowing that they could save hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills, people aren’t likely to make significant changes in their energy consumption without it costing them more or knowing their neighbors are doing better.
As City Lab writes, “truly supporting transit requires more than just voting to support transit.” While their focus was on making driving more expensive, another avenue (pun intended) to explore is making mass transit sexier. Transit stops (bus and rail) should certainly be more functional – offering wifi, updates of city information (weather, events, special offers), and integrating multimodal systems. But they can also be a reflection of community culture and social context.
Some ideas for improving our bus stops:
- Engaging spaces through art
- Let the stops serve as information hubs: with City updates, expected arrival times, daily weather updates, and free wifi.
- Coordinate them with Little Free Libraries (could share City Plans here too)
- Coordinated with Bikeways and Park n’Ride locations to promote cross usage of multimodal transportation system.
I’ve included some examples for all manner of public transit stops. While this idea will continue to evolve with input from the South Bend artist community and feedback from Transpo, I wanted to highlight this idea during public art week and showcase how this it could impact our community before we implement the upcoming changes from a flag system to a stop system.