Mass transit market Austin Mohawk, a long-time shelter manufacturer based in Utica, NY, prides itself on what it calls its deep bench of structural engineers. Austin Mohawk President John Millet says it surprises his team to see requests from mass transit organizations include very thorough specifications of the shelter product but make no mention of the product’s International Building Codes stipulations for snow load, wind load and seismic calculations.
“In our mind this is a public safety issue,” says Millet. “We know an alarming number of shelter designs sold each year do not meet these requirements for the areas where they will be in service.”
He says many transit agencies rely on federal subsidies to purchase transit bus shelters, and under FTA Regulations must incorporate the design regulations of CFR 49 Par 41.20, which include such wind load, snow (live) load, and seismic calculations.
“Nowhere is there an exemption for a transit shelter in the International Building Code (ICB),” says Millet. “Changes to the 2006 International Building Code forced significant changes to the structural design of shelters.”
According to Austin Mohawk, the new requirements sharply increased structural wind and snow load for shelters. Also, shelters using ASCE Chapter 7 now require seismic calculations.
Austin Mohawk says its broad range of shelters is not well known in the mass transit industry, but believes what the company brings to the table is sensitivity by the structural engineering team to these code requirements.
Columbia Equipment, Inc: seasoned and innovative
Columbia Equipment Company, Inc, Jamaica, NY, lays claim to being the nation’s most experienced bus shelter manufacturer, creating the first prefabricated aluminum shelter in 1961. Its structures are now in use at thousands of locations throughout all 50 states. The company designs, manufactures, installs and maintains its shelters, praised by customers for their easy installation, and their weatherproof, vandal-resistant and maintenance-free characteristics.
Columbia equipment says its standard models are typically less expensive and the most popular. Available in many styles and colors, the company says its standard design is extremely sturdy while keeping materials to a minimum, and interchangeable parts allow for easy additions and modifications in the future.
For a little more flair in downtown areas and small town squares, Columbia prides itself in its Old Fashioned style where cities may require new construction to resemble the original look and feel of surrounding buildings and architecture, such as a Victorian or Spanish flavor.
Columbia Equipment says its design of each Old Fashioned shelter can match architectural preference. It also excels in special color products to make a location more unique and perhaps drive business.
The company’s advertising bus shelter makes the installation of a new shelter system cost effective, paying dividends beyond the cost of the shelter over the long term.
Ad space fits into almost any of the Columbia pre-fabricated shelter systems, or the company will design to agency specifications. BR