Bus Rapid Transit - Public Art Program
The City of Saskatoon’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System will feature public art at various locations along the route. The City of Saskatoon joins many cities in Canada and around the world that feature public art in and along transit routes. Transit is critical for a city, and transit art programs, in general, can have a positive impact:
- Create a stronger civic identity and pride of place
- Make transit trip a better, friendlier and more meaningful experience
- Build unique identities for transit stations/routes through art, creative collaboration, and by making transit a part of the communities served.
In early summer 2021, the City selected LeuWebb Projects to develop a strategic and collaborative approach to the BRT project. The first part of this effort involved community engagement to help LeuWebb address the ideas of space, object, and pedestrian movement related to the BRT stations. This engagement then informed the development of a Public Art Strategy for the Bus Rapid Transit system.
The next step will be to develop more specific approaches to public art for the BRT system to meet the plan set out in the strategy.
Public art for the BRT is made possible through the City’s Public Art Policy. The policy states that where the City’s contribution is $5 million or more, the capital project will integrate a public art or artistic design element into the project, the cost of which is to be up to one (1) percent of the total capital project budget, to a maximum of $500,000. The BRT Project qualifies as a project that includes public art.
This type of artistic collaboration, consideration of audiences, and use of varied types of media can be seen in these examples of public art in transit:
Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, New York Minute – New York, NY.
Examples from other Municipalities
City of Vancouver
City of Ottawa
City of Seattle, WA
Region of Waterloo, ON
City of Portland, OR
City of Aurora, Colorado
City of Phoenix, AZ
City of New York, NY
Toronto, ON (Metrolinx)
The goal of the Saskatoon BRT public art program is to design and create public art interventions at select station locations within the BRT system to enhance the rider’s experience. Public art is a visual expression that may take many forms.