An award for a project that had/is having a significant impact and where young professional(s) played a significant role.
MARTA ARMY OPERATION BUS STOP CENSUS
By Morgan Jacobus, Becca Kiriazes, Davis Cover, Josh Madwed, Sam Baskin, Siddarth Kotapati, Binh Dam, Saba Long, Bakari Height, Carden Wyckoff, Audrey Parker
MARTA bus stops support 45% of MARTA trips but often lack essential amenities for safety, accessibility, and dignity. MARTA Army, an independent, grassroots advocacy organization in Atlanta, started Operation Bus Stop Census to crowdsource data on bus stop conditions and amenities. Data collection ran from February 4 (Transit Equity Day) to December 31, 2020, with 3248 stops surveyed by 300 individual respondents. MARTA Army volunteers are finalizing the census report, including findings and recommendations, that will be shared publicly.
Data on surveyed stops revealed a significant lack of wayfinding, seating, shelters, and crosswalks (and to a lesser extent, sidewalks and curb cuts) that affects half the ridership. Surveyed stops were graded and ranked to prioritize bus stops in need of improvements, with an overall grade of C-minus. Recommendations to improve bus stop safety, accessibility, and dignity include increasing coordination between agencies, cities, and communities, adopting universal design guidelines, updating open databases such as OpenStreetMap, or starting Adopt-A-Stop programs within neighborhoods.
Operation Bus Stop Census was supported by a dozen of MARTA Army board members and volunteers who love public transportation. Those included young professionals, including 6 current students or recent graduates (most from Georgia Tech) who shouldered most of the responsibilities of planning and executing the initiative for over 18 months.