Architecture Students Help Design DART's Next Bus Shelters

Bus Shelter Prototype Bus Shelter Prototype
Posted on Apr 24, 2023 by DART Daily

Local college students have brought their fresh perspective to DART’s future bus stop amenities.

DART partnered with The American Institute of Architects Dallas chapter (AIA Dallas) and The University of Texas at Arlington to develop preliminary design ideas for the agency’s next generation of shelters and benches.

Rather than holding a design contest to generate ideas, AIA Dallas members recommended that DART work with UTA’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs to turn the shelter redesign into a class project. During the fall 2022 semester, fourth-year architecture students in the design studio course conducted primary and secondary research, developed and refined shelter designs, and built working prototypes.

Students rode the bus system, interviewed riders and bus operators, attended focus groups, and learned from DART staff about the needs and requirements for effective bus shelters.

DART staff met with students on several occasions and explained that their final designs needed to address these factors:

  • Safety – Riders and passers-by can see who is inside and outside of the shelter and waiting passengers can easily see when the bus arrives.
  • Climate control – Features offer shade and airflow when it is warm, and wind and rain protection when it is cold and wet.
  • Adaptability – Design must be modular and scalable to fit different bus stop pads sizes, moveable, and sustainable using durable materials and solar panels to reduce energy costs.
  • Experience – Seating should be comfortable with room for disabled riders, include amenities for signage and trash collection, and make a unique design statement that both fits in with and enhances the neighborhood.

UTA unveiled the students’ prototypes for both a larger and smaller bus stop shelter in December 2022 to DART staff, AIA Dallas members, family, and friends at the UTA Community Design Build Lab.

Professional architects will use feedback collected from a rider survey to refine and finalize the students’ designs. DART will then direct its current shelter manufacturer to construct and pilot shelters that the agency will test with riders.

DART plans to finalize design requirements and send out a request for proposals for a new shelter manufacturer in early winter.

Small Bus Shelter Prototype

Categories : DART Daily Knowledge
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