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Second-Graders’ Input on the HOP Brings National Recognition

More opportunities for public input with HOP service changes approaching

A collaboration involving Whittier International Elementary school students, Growing Up Boulder and City of Boulder transportation planners will receive national recognition this week for its innovative approach to engaging the public in a civic project.

For the project, “Engaging the Future Generation of Transit Riders,” Whittier second-graders studied the HOP route and bus stops first-hand—taking pictures along the way to identify what they did and did not like about the experience—and researched bus stops from around the world. Their recommendations, intended to make bus-riding friendlier for children, resulted in a new bench at the Pearl and 19th Street stop and the “How Many Bunnies Do You See?” murals installed in all HOP buses.

The project is one of five that will be honored in Washington, D.C., this week by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in its annual competition, “Communicating Concepts with John and Jane Q. Public.” The TRB, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, develops solutions to problems and issues facing transportation professionals and provides policy advice for complex issues of national significance.

“The recognition really goes to the students,” said Natalie Stiffler, Senior Transportation Planner, who will accept the honor on behalf of the project team. “They stayed engaged throughout the project and provided great insights into how different the bus experience is for kids. Even small observations, like that they can’t read the bus stop signs because they are too high, help us plan better.”

The new bus stop is the first of many changes that Boulderites will soon see on the HOP, as route changes are implemented later in 2018. Based on a two-year public process, the route will be divided into four independent sections with higher frequency of service. To help orient riders, the new segments will be renamed and branded to distinguish the routes from one another. Stiffler and other transportation planners will soon be seeking public input into the rebranding and how to best to inform the public about the upcoming service changes.

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Published: Jan. 8, 2018

Media Contacts:
Meghan Wilson, Communication Manager, Public Works, 303-441-4073
Natalie Stiffler, Senior Transportation Planner, 303-441-3217