New bus stop platform design aims to improve safety and reliability

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Construction is underway for a new bus stop platform in Austin at the northeast corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton streets.

Austin Transportation Department and Capital Metro teamed up for the pilot project they say will help improve safety and reliability. The platform design extends the curb allowing buses to meet riders.

“It makes a difference when you have a 60-footer coming in and pulling in and then heading out,” Sharmila Mukherjee, Capital Metro’s executive Vice President of planning and development said.

Mukherjee said the pilot project will not only help keep buses moving but the new platform design will enhance safety in an area that sees high ridership each day.

“There are three ways I see this to be very important, first it would take away the bicycle conflict with buses, allow for faster boarding, and create a travel behavior that is blended with higher safety,” Mukherjee said.

The new ZICLA platform will feature a non-slip base of recycled rubber and span about 120 feet on Guadalupe in the bike lane just north of Dean Keeton. The design will have green and white stripes to help guide bicyclists.

“The ZICLA product is modular and it’s sort of like a grown-up Lego,” Caitlin D’Alton, the city transportation department’s Transit Enhancement Program manager said.

The ZICLA being modular allows officials to move the platform to test it at other city bus stops. For now, plans have the platform stationed at the corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton streets.

In order to get that done, CapMetro will combine the existing MetroBus stop and MetroRapid station on the northeast side of the intersection from the southeast. Officials said this move will also help northbound traffic turning right onto Dean Keeton avoid delays.

“It seems like a small innovation but it’ll have a big impact,” Mukherjee said.

Those on their bike will have to yield to people boarding buses. The pilot project will last six months and once complete officials will decide if they want to add these platforms to other city bus stops.

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