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© 2008  (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 12-07-09, 12-23-13)
THE CITY of DETROIT'S FIRST BUS STOP SHELTER
(Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo #29975)
Virtual Motor City Collection photo #29975, used by permission of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.
All rights, including those of further reproduction and/or publication, are reserved in full by the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.  Photographic
reproductions may be protected by U.S. copyright law (U.S. Title 17).  The user is fully responsible for copyright infringement.
INTERESTING SIDE NOTE:  In 1967, the Detroit DSR bus shelter program would serve as a pilot program for the nation.  By
1968, a total of 266 DSR bus shelters had been installed throughout the city, financed in part through a grant received from
the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during FY 1966-67.  Thirty-two of these bus shelters were also
equipped with heaters to keep waiting passengers warm during the winter months.  Heaters were also installed in the
downtown Cadillac Square Terminal waiting station.  One of the recently installed heated shelters can be seen here, in this
1967 photo, along Campus Martius in downtown Detroit — the lay-over stop for the DSR's #49 John R.-Oakland bus line.
(DSR coach #4087 in photo was a White Motors Company built Model 798, delivered during the Fall of 1946.)
Bus stop shelters.... I'm sure most of you are probably familiar with them. Back in 2008 (when this article was first written), under the city's DDOT bus system, nearly 175 bus stop shelters could be found among the approximately 6,000 bus stops erected along the 45 bus routes within the city of Detroit. The purpose of these shelters are to provide greater protection for waiting passengers, and under current DDOT policies are placed only at locations that have 75 or more average boardings per day. Although now fairly common along city bus routes, the first of these type shelters made their appearance nearly 60 years ago.

According to the June, 1955 edition of The DSR Reporter (an employee publication), the first bus shelter in the city was erected on W. McNichols at Southfield Road and placed into service on Monday, May 9, 1955. The McNichols Road shelter was the first of ten passenger loading shelters to be initially erected by the DSR. By July, four more shelters had been erected; at E. Warren and Conner, Plymouth and Southfield, Seymour and Hayes, and Schaefer and Fort. Other bus shelters were soon to be erected at the following intersections: Outer Drive-Conant, Outer Drive-Van Dyke, Gratiot-Conner, Joy-Wyoming, and Pontchartrain-Seven Mile.

The new shelters cost between $900 and $1,000 each and were built on a steel frame with aluminum sash and roof. DSR officials at the time told The Detroit News that if the first ten shelters prove popular others would soon follow.

In the above photo, taken by The Detroit News on May 9, 1955, passengers can be seen boarding a DSR inbound Second Blvd. bus from the city's first bus stop shelter on W. McNichols and Southfield. If you look close enough you might be able to see the "Wet Paint" signs that are still taped to the shelter.

(Photo source: 1967 DSR Annual Report – Courtesy of Stan Sycko)
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