Efforts to install some 30 "Simme-Seats" at Hall Area Transit stops — a first for the bus system — could take place this spring.
"They are here and we are just waiting on our public works team to start the installation," said Phillippa Lewis Moss, Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center director, on Thursday.
The installation would wrap up an $82,400 project that involved the purchase of nine covered shelters and 29 "Simme-Seats," or two opposing, cantilevered seats attached to a bus stop pole.
The transit service is using money from the state and the Rotary Club, which is covering what would otherwise be the project's local government match, to leverage nearly $66,000 in federal money.
The shelters and seats will be used at the busiest stops for Red Rabbit, Hall Area Transit's fixed-route bus service.
The Gainesville, South Hall and Hall County Sunset Rotary clubs teamed up, approaching Hall Area Transit nearly two years ago, Moss said.
In an interview last July, Rob Fowler, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Gainesville, said the clubs "talked about (the project) and met a couple of times, and we thought this would be a good use of money."
"We felt like (Red Rabbit) has its place in our community," he said.
A large shelter such as ones now used by Red Rabbit cost about $5,500 apiece, but it doesn't work at every stop.
"We have in our community a lot of sloping roads and very narrow sidewalk areas," Moss has said.
The Simme-Seat, costing about $550, is "very original, very simple and functional," she said.
David Dockery, Gainesville's public works director, said he expects to devote a crew to the installation for a week later this month.
"Since we have not done this before, I don't have enough information at this point to gauge how fast these installations will go," he said.
In addition, the Rotary Club has created a sign that will be put up at the bus stops, Moss said.
Each sign will say that the seat was provided courtesy of the three clubs, she added.