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New CATA Bus Shelters Installed and Beautified through Community Partnerships

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

 

There are some things that just go together – like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese or Jack and Diane.

But it’s not often people put together bus shelters and culture. 

A recent CATA initiative used this combination to steer community ownership, champion diversity and foster neighborhood pride. Six new bus shelters were installed at high-traffic stops to address community needs. We’re profiling two of these shelters that showcase the culture and diversity of area neighborhoods.

Both of these shelters were made possible through community partnerships and funding. CATA contributed funding toward each project, while the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association and South Side Community Coalition each received a $3,000 Neighborhood Grant from the City of Lansing.Photo of blue bus shelter located on Pennsylvania Ave

Partnering with the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association

The SPNA approached CATA to drive safety and inclusion in the area. Their local bus stop was moved just north of Baker Street to improve accessibility and safety. We provided the community options for a new shelter, and they voted on artwork submissions. Shelter designs and artwork were voted on by the public, who chose the shelter that currently stands.

Shelter artwork was provided by local artist Nate Gonzalez, and a solar light was installed at the location in January. The shelter highlights the adventurous, creative and resourceful dimensions of Sycamore Park. 
Working Together with the Southside Community Coalition
The SSCC worked with CATA to give the community’s existing bus shelter a makeover. This shelter on Holmes and Pleasant Grove Road was retrofit with electricity and LED lighting. Its glass paneling was switched from tinted to clear, in order to promote transparency and safety.CATA CEO Brad Funkhouser, Mayor Andy Schor, and others at the vibrant bus shelterThe most defining feature is the bus shelter’s pseudo-stained glass mural, with depictions of faces in the community. Another panel depicts the newly added Beacon Soccer Field, the community coalition and kids playing in the nearby park.

The vibrant color palette reminds us how the area radiates diversity, inclusion and play. 

The Community Ownership Movement
These projects were the spark of a community ownership movement. By partnering with local neighborhoods, CATA was better able to address community needs, concerns and vision. One new shelter was installed and an old shelter was beautified to become points of pride in their neighborhoods. Local communities were involved to make this movement an inclusive one.
 
Because each shelter is unique to its respective neighborhood, local desires to use and maintain them are strong.
 
"These shelters end up being the best cared for shelters," said CATA CEO Brad Funkhouser in a recent interview. "They become a central point of identity, a sense of place for each of the neighborhoods.”
Additional Bus Shelter Projects

CATA is striving to convert more bus shelters into beacons of local culture and pride. Four additional shelters were installed in the area, including new shelters on Michigan State University’s campus and one on Michigan Avenue near the Capitol building.

Three of these four shelters have enhanced amenities, including: real-time bus tracking displays, lighting, USB ports and Wi-Fi. The shelter on Michigan Avenue is even 100% solar-powered.

Who knew bus shelters could bring more culture to a community? We’d call this a winning combination.

Both of the new community inspired bus shelters are a great example of what can happen when the City of Lansing,...

Posted by Andy Schor on Friday, December 13, 2019

To explore more ways CATA drives art and culture, check out this video testimonial from Below the Stacks.

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Great Ways to Spend Leap Day in Lansing

Friday, February 7, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

4 kids in MSU apparel jumping on a snow bank

 

How often do you wish for an extra day? 

In 2020, that wish has been granted. February 29 is your day to do something you’ve always wanted to do. And best of all, it’s a Saturday! Here are some fun ways to enjoy your Leap Day Lansing-style:

1. Eat Izzo-themed ice cream while watching MSU basketball.

Cheer on the Spartans against Maryland with a large scoop of Izzo’s Malted Madness – with hot fudge and sprinkles, of course. Take routes 24, 25 or 36 to check out other themed flavors at the MSU Dairy Store, all made at the university with Michigan ingredients! For homemade perfection, you’ve got to check this place out

The outside of Golden harvest restaurant that says smells like bacon on the side of the building

2. Smell the bacon.

Kermit the Frog, a Christmas tree, a sombrero and clogs – what do all of these things have in common? They’re mounted on the walls of Golden Harvest, one of the most eclectic and identifiable food spots in Lansing. This restaurant’s amazing breakfasts and unique decor have drawn crowds since 1951. Hop on Route 14 to this Old Town gem.

To support Golden Harvest’s restoration initiative, visit http://bit.ly/SaveGolden.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Potter Park Zoo (@potterparkzoo) on

3. Join the stampede.

Have you heard about Potter Park Zoo’s baby rhino, Jaali? He is the first black rhino to be born at the Potter Park Zoo! This milestone was recognized worldwide, as black rhinos are a critically endangered species. While Jaali won’t be out in public until spring, the zoo is still an amazing place to be in the winter. We’re talking less crowds, and plenty of animals – jump on route 8! 

Check zoo hours here.

4. Contest your ‘stache.

Do you have a rad mustache or beard you’ve always wanted to show off? Here’s your chance. On Leap Day, Old Town is hosting Brrs, Beards, and Brews: A Lumberjack Festival, complete with a facial hair competition. For all those with bare faces, the festival also offers a Feats of Strength contest, food and activities. Routes 14 or 16 will take you to this event!

Photo of people working at an outdoor pop-up food bank in the winter

5. Join a cause.

Have you always wanted to get involved in your community, but never had the time to get started? Today is your day! There are so many opportunities in the Lansing area to get involved in a good cause, from helping people to animals to the environment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Cosmos Wood-Fired (@thecosmospizza) on

6. Kick it back. 

Whether you take time with family and friends, or focus on self care, give yourself permission to relax and enjoy this day! Find a local yoga studio to focus on yourself or indulge in a slice and turn on the game. Remember this is your day – your EXTRA day – to do what you’d like.

How will you be spending your Leap Day this year?

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Caroling on the CATA bus

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Categories: Blog, Community

Rose Cooper took her act on the road in a new way this holiday season.

Cooper, who’s best known around greater Lansing as the singing motorcyclist, stores her beloved Harley-Davidson when winter arrives. But she didn’t let that stop her from singing her heart out on the city’s streets recently.

She hopped on a CATA bus to do some caroling.

It started out, as many things do, with a Facebook post: “At some point Friday afternoon, Kevin and I will be taking the #1 CATA bus from downtown to Meridian Mall and back; with the bus driver's permission, singing Christmas/holiday songs along the entire route. Wish us luck!”

Little boy shakes hand of bus driverWhen CATA got wind of Cooper’s plan, they looped in the driver and sent cameras to capture the trip.

“When we got on the bus, before I could even ask the driver if it was OK if we sang, he said ‘I’ve already heard about you.’ I was amazed,” Cooper said.

Cooper and her grandson Kevin, a first grader at Lansing’s Cumberland Elementary School, took the ride to bring cheer to Black Friday shoppers and give Kevin a bit of practice for his school’s upcoming choir concert.

“He’s a shy, sensitive kid, so he didn’t want to sing too much at first,” Cooper said. “But once I started, I could hear him going along.”

They boarded bus No. 1 at the CATA Transportation Center downtown and rode it all the way to the Meridian Mall, singing everything from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to “Jingle Bells” to “The Dreidel Song.”

“We decided we’d start a new song every time somebody got on,” she said. “It was like we were singing just for them.”

A few people sang along. One man even pulled a red nose out of his coat pocket and put it on as they sang “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Cooper said singing for the CATA passengers and staff was important to her.Little boy sitting in the driver seat of the bus

“When I ride my bike, the CATA people are the coolest people to ride with,” she said. “There’s no competition. They’re not trying to beat me to the light like some cars do. They’re not coming over into my lane. I love riding next to CATA buses, so this was my way of giving back to CATA.”

Despite Kevin’s shy nature, he was excited to climb into the driver’s seat once the bus reached the mall. Cooper said he secretly loves the buses.

“When I’m driving him in my car, he’ll see a CATA bus and ask me to stop so he can get on it,” she said.

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