The Living Room Station: A comfy place to wait for the bus


A living room popped up in downtown Minneapolis this week.

Complete with a rug, seating, a wall clock and reading materials, the "Living Room Station" is welcoming people "home before they get home" at a bus stop on 6th and Nicollet, according to its designer, Max Musicant of The Musicant Group.

The Musicant Group and Onyx Cycles created the living room as part of an initiative by the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and Metro Transit to improve some of the busiest bus stops in the area that don't have permanent shelters right now.

The Living Room Station will only be around for a few weeks. It was set up within the past few days and will be taken down at the end of October. Organizers will then see how it worked.

The goal of the pilot project is to come up with designs for bus shelters that can be used at multiple locations and can be installed permanently, according to the DID.

The bus stop at 6th and Nicollet is the busiest one in downtown Minneapolis that doesn't have a shelter, with more than 1,000 riders each day, according to Musicant.

The designers came up with the concept after asking riders there what they would like to see in a bus shelter. Their most frequently requested items were protection from the weather, a place to sit, a bus schedule and some entertainment to help pass the time.

So that's what the Living Room Station delivers. In addition to the seating and a canopy, the shelter also includes a variety of books, board games and drawing supplies that people can use while they wait for the bus.

But that's not all. Every weekday from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., people waiting for the bus can enjoy various activities like pumpkin carving, accordion music, free flowers and a family game night.

The Musicant Group, according to its website, aims to create "great places where people want to be" in an effort to help boost private enterprise and build community.

The organization has been involved in setting up parklets around Minneapolis, Piazza on the Mall, and other community spaces in the Twin Cities.

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