New Transit Shelters Support Detroit's Revitalization

April 21, 2015

Among the many signs of resurgence in Detroit is the city’s investment in its public transit system. With 35 bus routes and a 2014 daily ridership of 83,800 passengers, the system is Michigan’s largest. The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), recently added 300 new buses and is collaborating with Duo-Gard under a multi-year contract for new transit shelters.

So far, Duo-Gard has produced and installed more than 40 shelters. About 60 percent of shelters under the contract are planned for new locations, according to Transit Planner Carsten Applegate. The rest will replace many of the existing shelters in the Detroit area.

“In addition to the new shelters, we’re focusing on rebuilding the roster of drivers and mechanics, now below budgeted levels, as well as renewing the fleet,” says Applegate. “This will enable us to improve the reliability of our service.”

DDOT’s shelters, all 5’ x 10’ in size, feature several different styles. Depending on site conditions, some have cantilevered sidewalls, and all have freestanding benches of recycled lumber. Powder-coated framing in bright green encases glazings of either 3/8th inch solid polycarbonate or perforated steel. Ease of maintenance is a primary factor. 

Such durability is critical, says Warren Emerson, manager ll – plant maintenance and construction. “Our shelters get a lot of use,” he adds. “They’re subject to damage and vandalism, so programs such as this allow us to keep our stock replenished.”

Ridership, of course, dictates the number and location of DDOT’s bus shelters. Concern for the rider’s experience also plays an important role. “We want to provide a safe, comfortable environment while our passengers wait for the bus,” Emerson says.

“Public transit is very important to Detroit. It’s the lifeblood of the city,” he adds. “This is demonstrated by the initiatives of DDOT Director Dan Dirks and Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan. These initiatives include new buses and shelters. And Duo-Gard has done a fantastic job for us.”

Says Michael Arvidson, Duo-Gard’s executive vice president: “As Detroit’s revitalization continues, Duo-Gard is proud that our shelters are playing a part. Our work proves that public transit is gaining increasing attention across the country, and that’s certainly true in Detroit.”