Living Room Station
Concept Origin: Perception Survey feedback highlighted high ridership bus stops as important public spaces for perceived safety, especially in places without a permanent shelter.
Why It Matters: At bus stops without a shelter and seating, waiting for the bus can appear to a passer-by as loitering. Street furniture for bus riders communicates to them that their needs are important. Without adequate shelter, many riders stand or lean against the adjacent building, which can lead to concerns from property owners.
Experiment: In coordination with Metro Transit, MDID contracted with The Musicant Group and Onyx Cycles to create “Living Room Station”, a temporary shelter at Sixth & Nicollet. The shelter was created to look like a living room and offered seating, a clock, bus route schedules, throw pillows, books, board games and drawing supplies. It was in place for two weeks in October 2015, and included daily programming on weekdays from 3:30-5:00 pm that ranged from handing out free tea or Trick-or-Treat candy to pumpkin carving or game night activities. This design and programming experiment was based on a survey of rider needs in advance, and a follow-up survey found that 86 percent of riders reported an improved experience downtown as a result of the project. Three additional bus stop pilot projects are currently in development.