So, if you were at a MUNI bus shelter recently, and wanted to see when the next MUNI bus was going to arrive, in many places (if not all), you got a lengthy notice about the proposed bus shelters, which will be on display at City Hall on May 10th and 11th. Now, who can resist such a field trip, right? Count me in!
But, as always, there’s another lesson to be learned here – how you can have an army of paid professionals at City Hall to “communicate” who can’t. I mean, putting this lengthy message on NextMuni is goofy enough – but when you realize that at stops there’s only two lines of text to display, well couldn’t someone have, oh I don’t know, written this a little tighter?
Then there’s the info on the City’s website, which refers you to the MTA’s site for more “information” – only to repeat everything word for word you’ve already read. Weird.
Just another day at MUNI, I guess!
UPDATE (5/10): I posted some quick photos on Flickr. Flickr Uploadr was being rather uppity this evening…
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I access NextBus via my cellphone and had to scroll past all of that yesterday in order to find out when the next N was coming (fourteen minutes for the next train too full to get on).
Does anybody know why the shelters are being redesigned? To create more ad space? Adding anti-homeless spikes to the seats?
Isn’t it obvious that Muni has too much money? I mean, it spent several million bucks on big parties this year. So why not make new shelters with all that, you know, excess funding? I hope they don’t start putting up “44-stop-in golden gate park” style shelters that only have two tiny seats in them…
The bus shelters are contracted out to a company which pays the cost of installing and maintaining them.
In exchange for the exclusive rights, which gets the contractor a lot of good advertising space, the SFMTA gets a cut of the profit and one ad-free shelter (the city chooses the locations as well) for every two with advertising.
Now the contract is up and we get a chance to have entirely new shelters at no cost to the city or SFMTA. The new contract includes environmental and safety improvements, like solar power to add lighting (which is a big safety concern at night) and NextMuni signs to the shelters currently without power. And knowing that NextMuni signs will be installed (a separate contract from the shelters) the shelters can be designed to make them visible both inside and outside.
Other things being considered are modular designs which can be painted or styled to take on more of a neighborhood’s character and placing the line numbers up higher on short flag poles to make them easier to find.
I briefly saw models of the designs, all are an improvement over what we have now.
Someone needs to take pictures of the shelters at City Hall for the rest of us to see …
@ Joseph: I took some today but I can’t upload them because Flickr’s “Uploadr” program is being stubborn and won’t log in….
Jamison: Don’t you have some pix of these new designs for us? Please???
When I was there this morning, a professional photographer was taking photos which I was told we be posted online with other drawings along with descriptions and explanations. Simply looking at the models won’t tell you the full story about lighting, NextMuni, wayfinding or the green design features.