OKC MetroTransit riders are the first to note that there is a lack of formal stops from which to board or deboard the MetroTransit busses and Dr. Ed Shadid Ward 2 City Councilor and the Transit staff have been working on materials for improving the Transit System for well over 2 years. This past week Dr. Ed Shadid added highlighted concerns about bus stops, and as always provided a logical set of information to define the issue.
Not familiar with the process of riding the bus? Wikipedia has EVERYTHING covered as with this link bus stop http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_stop
Andrew Rice, former Oklahoma Senator, now local leader of a health organization, did make a rather pointed observation not too long ago on his Twitter acct, something to the effect of "Nothing says "big city" like the disabled and elderly huddling in inclement weather, waiting for the bus".
Still don't colloquially feel up to speed about the whole thing? This lick captures Oklahoma weather.... Rolling Stones lyrics to
Gimme Shelter Oh, a storm is threat'ning My very life today, If I don't get some shelter, Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away Mick Jagger/Keith Richards 1969
Back to business.
Posit from Dr. Ed Shadid and the MetroTransit development crew is here, pretty much all in black and white:
1.) there are an insufficient number of bus shelters in OKC
2.) we could use some more
3.) Shadid discovered a federal grant that would allow that to happen for a few initial sites (we can get some more)
4.) City Council has to agree to the petition via grant for the money (have to agree to ask for the money to have more)
5.) AND has to agree to pay the remaining percentage due separate from that covered by the grant ( have to agree to a reliable plan to provide Oklahoma City's share of matching money to the federal grant to get the grant)
6.) Shadid has access to
a) this grant funding $ data,
b) data from a study about where shelters might be placed effectively citywide
c) plans to accept direct public feedback about where the shelter can go to each Councilor on the Oklahoma City Council.
d) options for connecting ongoingly with the public from a specific web service that allows for ideas and dialogue about this and other things for the City. mindmixer.com
7.) Opening up public understanding of current agreements furnishings at bus stops ( benches, shelters and signs) will help the public better see what is under contract and if this is effective or ineffective for the current needs of the City and Oklahoma City MetroTransit. The current provider is here. http://www.tyleroutdoor.com/bus-shelters. See Dr. Ed Shadid links (marked as ++++ ) below for a more thorough description of current agreements and 2013 Oklahoma City City Council observations on same. See Dr. Ed Shadid's spring Transit talk for more in general on MetroTransit and this issue combined. http://www.examiner.com/article/okc-transit-townhall-meeting-a-success
8.) Reconsideration of #7 can probably provide the percentage remaining can be recouped from this loose and now ineffective contract with the designated sole provider and dollars generated forward for MetroTransit funding. ( There is currently no revenue besides a percentage of tax for public transit...and failure to have diversified funding keeps Oklahoma in general from getting any available federal dollars to supplement public transit of any kind. Oklahoma is in the bottom 2 of all states in the US in public transit, and NEVER EVER has been able to sucessfully bid for federal supplements in funding because of this absence of alternative dollars.)
Here is Dr. Ed Shadid's MetroTransit math concepts linked in a series of comments. As always it is laid out in observation based upon assessment, possible options for resolution, resources for public input and general time frame for the vote that would start it all. ++++ These are the three links of progressive explanation.
Most likely initial shelters will be simplistic... but Dr. Ed Shadid's point is excellent that evolving shelters into an art form is certainly more fun. Here are some ideas from around the world, where form meets function to stretch your imagination.