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AARP AARP States Missouri Community

Transforming Transit Stops…One at a Time

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AARP in St. Louis, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT), and Metro Transit – in partnership with St. Louis REALTORS®, Employment Connection and Bywater Development Group – unveiled the “Transit Stop Transformation” Project at the North Hanley Transit Center, located in north St. Louis County in mid-October.


This project marks the fourth stop in the St. Louis region AARP and CMT have transformed it into a colorful, interactive and vibrant destination.  Additionally, this project serves as an extension to the ongoing efforts made by the partners to raise awareness about placemaking around transit, which is a concept that transforms places people simply pass through enroute to their next destination – like MetroLink and MetroBus Transit Centers – into active, engaging corridors that connect individuals and neighborhoods by offering access to products, services, activities and green space.

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To ensure all voices were heard for this project, a series of virtual design workshops, surveys and community events were conducted to gain input from transit riders, area residents, elected officials and stakeholders. Utilizing this feedback, the project team overseeing the “Transit Stop Transformation” Project at the North Hanley Transit Center converted the concrete area between the bus bays and MetroLink entrance into an interactive, playful and engaging space, boasting a vibrant-colored “Transit: We All Ride Together” theme. The revitalized space features:

  • Shade structures
  • Seating suitable for people of all ages
  • Ground murals and
  • Window designs with pictures of transit users at this station
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The project reflects the diverse group of riders who utilize this significant MetroLink and MetroBus connection point in unincorporated St. Louis County.

“Engaging in livable community transformation projects allows AARP to influence the improvements made to ensure they are suitable for people of all ages,” said Sheila Holm, community outreach director for AARP St. Louis. “Adding improvements such as shade, seating and interactive elements to transit stops create a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for all who use public transit, especially those over 50.”

“Transit stops are synonymous with gray space, and when we arrived at this site, it certainly wasn’t the exception,” said Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit, who helped spearhead the transformation. “Yet today, transit riders are welcomed to a colorful, inviting, interactive and vibrant space full of energy.”


The “Transit Stop Transformation” Project at the North Hanley Transit Center was led by AARP in St. Louis, Citizens for Modern Transit, and Metro Transit. Other key partners in this project included:

  • Dallas- based urban planning firm, Team Better Block, completed the planning and design
  • Added Dimension, LLC, oversaw community engagement.
  • Artwork was created by Design Lab 443
  • Other contractors and vendors: Lake Contracting, Inc., Shade-Guard, Stash Design, Warning Lites of Southern Illinois, LLC, and Weiss Monument Works

This project was funded by an AARP Community Challenge Grant, Citizens for Modern Transit’s Placemaking Pilot Funds Program, AARP in St. Louis, St. Louis REALTORS® and Bywater Development/ Employment Connections.

“This colorful new space will bring smiles to the faces of transit customers of all ages who utilize this transit center and it will make our transit community a little brighter,” said Taulby Roach, President and CEO of Bi-State Development.

The North Hanley Transit Center “Transit Stop Transformation” project is the fourth of its kind in the St. Louis region. Transformations have also been completed at:

  • Belleville Transit Center in Belleville, Ill., in June 2022
  • Emerson Park Transit Center in East St. Louis, Ill., in August 2021
  • MetroBus stop in Maplewood, Mo., in June 2020

Each project showcases:

  • Interests and needs expressed by riders, transit operators and area stakeholders
  • A deep understanding of and commitment to equitable development around transit
  • The possibility of play
  • The ability for creative interventions to produce long-term impact for residents of all ages
  • The need for collaboration to succeed

All projects include work with stakeholders to build consensus and policies to move permanent development forward – and ultimately establish lasting developments at transit stops that are helping to improve safety and security, build ridership and increase activity around transit.

The site of the fifth “Transit Stop Transformation” was recently announced. It will be at the 5th & Missouri Transit Center in East St. Louis, Ill. Community engagement will get underway late this fall.


To view the full Transit Transformation on North Hanley, click HERE.

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