IN: IndyGo Introduces New Bus Stop Amenity

IndyGo installed 12 of its newest bus stop amenity — Simme Seats. These two-seater, bus stop signpost-mounted benches offer riders comfort in areas where a traditional bench or shelter may not be feasible.

The new pint-sized, yet heavy-duty benches add to IndyGo’s transit stop amenity offerings. In addition to having space-saving advantages in tight quarters, the patented two-seaters are a bargain and help IndyGo stretch its budget for bus stop improvements. While a typical shelter can cost around $15,000, the Simme-Seats are about $600 a piece.

Other cities including Portland, Atlanta, Charlotte and Tallahassee have also embraced Simme-Seats to make the wait for a bus a little more comfy. Mary Fetsch, public information officer for TriMet in Portland, said “Offering a place to sit at the end of a long day can positively impact a rider’s experience.” Fetsch further explained that “In urban areas, finding the right location to place a bench can be tough, so it’s important for us to find creative ways to make transit more comfortable from beginning to end.”

IndyGo placed Simme-Seats at the following locations this week and plans to install more in the next several months:

  • 52nd St. westbound at Keystone Ave.
  • Alabama St. northbound at North St.
  • Alabama St. southbound at North St.
  • College Ave. northbound at Broad Ripple Ave.
  • Delaware St. northbound at 16th St.
  • Illinois St. northbound at 13th St
  • Keystone Ave. southbound at 53rd St.
  • Meridian St. southbound at 14th St.
  • Shelby St. northbound at Cottage Ave.
  • Terrace Ave. westbound at Riley Pl.
  • Washington St. westbound at East St.
  • Washington St. westbound at Hancock St.

In addition to the installation of Simme-Seats, IndyGo also recently worked with People for Urban Progress (PUP) to nearly double the number of PUPstops. PUPstops are a collaboration between PUP and IndyGo to refurbish and repurpose historic Bush Stadium seats as benches at bus stops. This month, PUP is celebrating its fifth anniversary as one of Indianapolis’s hippest non-profits. To commemorate five years of progress, PUP’s goal is to have 36 or more PUPstops installed. Mostly through the sale of products using salvaged material from the RCA Dome roof, Bush Stadium and Super Bowl signage, PUP is able to fund its activities to make Indianapolis more environmentally and transit friendly.

“PUP is passionate about making Indianapolis a better place to live, and we think our projects including PUPstops go a long way to help,” said Michael Bricker, chief innovator of People for Urban Progress. “Our fifth anniversary leverages an opportunity to meet our goal of 36 PUPstops. We’re encouraging folks to check out our products, visit our studio and make a donation to meet our PUPstop goal.”

While IndyGo’s unique bus stop amenities have grabbed the attention of the community, the transit agency also has a program in place to invest in more traditional amenities. IndyGo currently maintains more than 230 shelters, 90 benches, 40 bike racks and 30 solar lights at some of its more than 4,000 stops. IndyGo’s Bus Stop Guidelines help determine how IndyGo invests in each location.

With multiple factors dictating which amenities are suitable for which stops, IndyGo’s planning staff must investigate each site for improvement on a case-by-case basis. Public right-of-way, adjacent property zoning and use, stop ridership, access to popular destinations, proximity to other stops, existing infrastructure and ADA accessibility are all considerations IndyGo’s planning staff takes into consideration.

IndyGo continues to improve infrastructure at bus stops based on budget and stop eligibility through direct investment as well as partnerships with developers, neighborhood groups, the city’s department of public works and community programs like Adopt-A-Stop and PUPstop.

IndyGo has also begun to sell advertising space on some shelters, which was made possible by the recent passage of a new city ordinance. Locations approved for advertising must meet stringent criteria including distance from intersection, adjacent property zoning (i.e. no single family housing) and market desirability for advertisers. Currently, IndyGo offers more than 25 shelter advertising locations and is reviewing the feasibility of additional locations. The shelter advertising program is in its first year and IndyGo expects sales to yield more than $50,000 in revenue that will help fund IndyGo services. IndyGo contracts the sales of transit advertising through the Indianapolis office of Clear Channel’s outdoor division.