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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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What It's All About

Friday, January 3, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community, Employees

Colorful christmas thank you noteLast month, CATA employees fulfilled Christmas wishes for 37 children and their families as part of the Operation Santa program.

Now our Christmas decor is in storage, the radio stations are done playing “Jingle Bells”, and we've traded in our ugly Christmas sweaters for daily business attire. But the spirit of giving lives on.

The children and families we helped through Operation Santa gifted us their kind words, drawings and gratitude. We received thank you cards from many of them, which are proudly displayed at our headquarters.

We appreciate their sweet gesture, and we’re grateful to all the people who’ve cultivated Operation Santa into a Red card that says Merry Christmas with a candy caneCATA tradition.

Thank you to our employees, friends and families who make this program a success year after year. As our Marketing Manager Pam Latka said, “It’s fun to think that we are keeping these kids’ Christmas dreams alive.”

That’s what it’s all about.

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