March 02, 2017

Station Design Contest for New Boston BRT Now Open

BostonBRT and ITDP are calling for submissions to a station design competition to encourage creative visions of what a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Boston. Winners will receive cash prizes and a travel package to ITDP’s international MOBILIZE Summit in Santiago, Chile.

Bus rapid transit (BRT) is being considered for the greater Boston area as a means to deliver high quality rapid transit to underserved areas. A critical component of a good BRT system is the station – the most visible part of the system – a symbol of that system. It is the interface between the movement of the system and the status of the neighborhood. At stations, passengers board and alight the vehicle, buy tickets, validate them and enter to wait. Passengers look for information. Buses have to approach and align with the correct place in the station. Stations are where everything comes together in the BRT system and the efficiency of the station design and the technologies built into the stations is of primary importance to success of the system. And while they are important components of the transit system and need to be designed for to ensure buses achieve operational efficiency, they also need to be designed for people and for the community.

A station design competition is being held to encourage creative visions of what a BRT system in Boston could look like. Iconic, aesthetically welcoming and pleasing stations will serve as anchors in their communities and inspire Boston to think big about improving the daily commute.

The BostonBRT Station Design Competition is an ideas competition for BRT stations in Boston, implemented as part of the larger BostonBRT campaign to improve transit in Greater Boston. The contest seeks BRT stations that inspire, create a sense of civic pride, and deliver a world-class transit experience. Proposals will be judged by a community panel and the public around the design objectives of station area, rider experience, and feasibility.

Entrants will be required to submit concept-level designs for center platform BRT stations (See examples in Design Precedents, shown above). The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $4,000 and two travel packages to ITDP’s MOBILIZE conference on June 28-30 in Santiago, Chile. Second place will receive a cash prize of $2,000, and for 3rd place, a cash prize of $1,000.

The goal of the design competition is to develop a station concept that accomplishes the following:

  • Reflects the character of Greater Boston and its neighborhoods
  • Creates a sense of comfort and elegance
  • Meets the requirements of the BRT Standard and maximizes benefits to future BRT riders
  • Allows for integration with other modes including walking and biking
  • Demonstrates an effective and reliable rapid transit system

Entrants must register by April 5, and submissions are due April 12. The winning design will be announced at an event on May 10th.

The contest will be administered by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) and sponsored by the Barr Foundation. Full list of design specifications, submissions and evaluation process available at

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