Signage helps make facility more user-friendly
The Lane County (Ore.) Transit District installed wheelchair lifts on its buses in 1985, several years before the Americans With Disabilities Act took effect. Since then, the district has taken other steps to make its transit stations more user-friendly and aesthetically appealing for its disabled passengers.
For several years, the district has installed different pavement textures and colors to differentiate between the main walkway and side walkways that lead to pickup and drop-off points, and to alert visually impaired people if they have stepped off the walkway and into the bus lane. Color-coded routes help passengers identify certain buses with specific sections of the county.
“Our agency has always tried very hard to meet the needs of all of our riders – especially those with disabilities,” says Stefano Viggiano, planning and development manager. Regular focus groups with senior citizens and persons with developmental disabilities have provided input to the district.
The new Lane Transit District Central Station, a $12 million, 87,000-square-foot facility completed in April, continues that policy. Following in the footsteps of other Pacific Northwest communities, including Olympia, Wash., and Lacey, Wash., the district has incorporated “environmental graphics” into the architecture.
Melding artistry, architecture and information, the graphics are intended to enhance communication and improve the facility’s aesthetics. Information, bus schedules and architectural ornamentation are among the components featured at the new transit center. The Lane Transit District’s new facility includes an informational board with route maps and a wheelchair-accessible telephone to enable passengers to call for information. The open architecture and bold signage in and around the facility represent, in effect, a marketing statement for Lane County’s public transit.
They appear to be working. “The feedback about the station overall has been very positive,” Viggiano says. In fact, since the new center opened, ridership is up an average of 8 percent per month compared with corresponding months in 1997, which he attributes partly to the new signage.