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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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CATA Gets Smart

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Categories: Blog, Community

CATA smart bus shelter

Have you noticed something new on Cedar Street? No, we’re not talking about the Holt Quality Dairy that recently got a facelift – we’re talking about CATA’s brand-new smart shelter.

The newly installed shelter is just south of Mt. Hope Rd in front of Foster Community Health Center. This one isn’t like our other shelters, though: Thanks to the Lansing Board of Water and Light, it’s complete with LED lighting, a USB-charging center, public Wi-Fi and a real-time bus-tracking display. Even better, the powered shelter supports CATA’s commitment to 100 percent renewable energy.

Keep your eyes peeled around Lansing in the coming months, as there are more smart shelters yet to be installed.

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Finding love in an unlikely place

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Categories: Blog, Community

Young couple sitting on a bus stop benchFor most people, riding the bus leads somewhere physical. Somewhere real. Maybe someplace rather perfunctory.

You take the bus to work. You ride it to go shopping. You hop onboard to get to class on the other side of campus.

For Eva Phan, a CATA bus took her to the next chapter in her life. She met her now-fiancé sitting in a bus shelter in front of MSU’s Brody Hall.

“It’s become a running joke in our relationship,” Eva said. “’If you want to find love, you have to go to the bus stop!’”

Ten years ago, Eva was a freshman studying human biology at Michigan State. She had to get to a chemistry test across campus but was unsure of the exam’s location. She saw Jeff Boore waiting for the bus and recognized him from her class.

“I followed him off the bus,” she said. “We were kind of wandering around separately, and he asked if I was in his class.” She told him she was, and they discovered neither of them knew how to get to Conrad Hall. This was before smartphones, so no one could do a quick check on Google Maps.

They went into the wrong building, and someone showed them the way.

“The whole time I was trying to chat him up, and he was not having it,” Eva said, laughing. “I thought, ‘He’s not that nice!’ I thought I’d never talk to him again.”

Later in the semester, she needed chemistry help, so she reached out to him on a whim.

They hit it off and talked all night. And when they went on their first date?

“We took the CATA bus to Noodles & Co.!”

Eva and Jeff dated all through college – she finished her bachelor’s degree in 2012; he stuck around for a master’s degree and finished in 2013. Their careers took them to San Francisco, where they live now. Last July, Jeff proposed.

When it came time to shoot engagement photos, their photographer asked if there was any particular spot that was meaningful to them.

“We told her, ‘Actually, the bus stop,’” Eva said.

They posed in the bus shelter, and they even climbed on an empty bus for a quick photo shoot, thanks to a friendly and accommodating driver.

Eva shared one of the photos on Facebook with the caption, “We found love in a hopeless place,” referencing the Rihanna/Calvin Harris song. But they don’t see the bus stop as hopeless at all. To the contrary.

“The bus stop means a lot to us,” Eva said. “Every single time we come back to campus we go see it. It makes us happy. It brings us back to being freshmen.”

     Young couple holding hands inside CATA bus

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