Everett is transforming the bus ride into a first-class travel experience, starting at the bus stop.
The City of Everett and BostonBRT on Dec. 18 revealed a bus stop transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland. The winter Flower Bomb at the School Street inbound bus stop was designed to surprise and delight people traveling along Broadway while also enhancing perceptions of the bus. Research has shown that enhanced bus stops not only grow ridership by enticing more people to try the bus, but also make wait times feel shorter before the bus arrives.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria welcomed riders as the BostonBRT street team handed out hot chocolate and flower bouquets while discussing recent bus improvements and the ambitious goal of creating New England’s first Gold Standard Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor.
Created by Ad Hoc Industries, led by Adrian Gill, and built florist Krissy Price of Boston Pollen, the winterscape incorporated a lush tapestry of dried florals and birch branches, all sprinkled with LED “twinkle fairy lights.” The festive nature of this holiday-inspired concept produced a magical wonderland at the School Street bus stop.
One of the most important aspects of Gold Standard BRT is well-designed, enclosed stations that provide people with comfort, security, and protection from the elements, particularly in the cold winter months. As the only Boston-adjacent city without a rail line, many Everett residents depend on the bus to get them where they need to go.
“Broadway is one of Greater Boston’s highest-potential transit corridors, so it’s important that we not only prioritize but really celebrate our buses and the people who ride them,” said DeMaria. “We urge everyone who rides the bus to speak up for more improvements and BRT, and if you haven’t ridden the bus lately, you should! The experience may be a pleasant surprise.”
“Public transportation should be a delight to use and that includes where you access it. Riders deserve the basics of comfort and shelter, but we can go bigger and bolder to transform the simple bus stop into a truly beautiful place to be, even in the wintertime,” said Mary Skelton Roberts, co-director of climate at the Barr Foundation. “I want to thank Mayor DeMaria for his leadership.”
“We’re inspired by flowers as a universal sign of giving; they cross all barriers between us. At this time of year as we continue to consider the experience of bus riders and BRT, the timing is just right. It’s not only about the metrics in public transportation, it’s about the people,” said Adrian Gill, Founder and Creative Director of Ad Hoc Industries. “Why not make the bus stop a beautiful place to wait?”
This winterscape builds on the City’s efforts to elevate the bus experience for the 10,000 riders who travel along Broadway each day. Everett made national headlines with its rush hour bus-only lane, which reduced average travel time from Everett Square to Downtown Boston by more than 20 percent. Everett also became the first city in Massachusetts to test elevated platforms at bus stops, another crucial BRT element that makes it easier for riders – particularly those with wheelchairs, carts, or strollers – to get onto the bus. Survey responses indicated 81 percent support permanent level-boarding platforms, which the City has begun installing at bus stops along Broadway.
Stay tuned for more efforts as Everett continues to lead the region in its dedication to improving the bus experience for its residents and implementing BRT to bring faster commutes throughout the region.