Madison Metro Transit wants the community to submit design proposals for future Bus Rapid Transit stations in a contest with a $10,000 prize.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a system that offers fewer stops, faster and more direct service and larger vehicles to transport more riders, and Madison’s East-West Bus Rapid Transit project will bring over 30 stations along the planned route.
Metro’s general manager, Justin Stuehrenberg, oversaw a similar project while working in Indiana and said involving the public in this way can improve the overall outcome and build community pride.
“It has the ability to make the BRT stations something that’s more uniquely Madison and not something that is just designed by some consultant that we hire,” Stuehrenberg said. “Because it’s a more broad based open process, it enables us to build more of a coalition of support across the city knowing that a lot more people have a voice in that design.”
The contest is open to everyone, both professionals and non-professionals, and the city will use the selected concept to develop a final architectural design for the station.
Getting as many viewpoints into the process as possible is critical,” Stuehrenberg said. “This is something where we don’t claim to have the answers.”
Submissions should follow some parameters, including specific dimensions and some required components like a 14-inch raised concrete platform, roof, real time arrival sign and fare kiosk. The stations will use the same architecture at all locations, so a useful design will fit in multiple contexts but be recognizable as a BRT station.
Applications are due March 31, and the city’s Urban Design Commission is expected to make a final decision at the end of May.
Submissions that meet initial screening requirements will be made public, so community members can give their feedback. City staff will then recommend options to the UDC using a set of criteria, and identify a first, second and third place winner.
The current route would run along East Washington Avenue, around the Capitol and through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus. It would continue west on University Avenue and Mineral Point Road to West Towne Mall.
After the UDC confirms the recommendations, the winners will be named and awarded $10,000 for first place and $5,000 each for second and third place designs.
More information on the contest can be found on Metro Transit’s website.
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