RALEIGH — When Mike Kennon learned that the City of Raleigh is unveiling a bus shelter adoption program, he jumped at the chance to help make his community tidier while teaching his home-schooled daughter, a freshman in high school, about civic responsibility.
Shes a little skeptical, but shes going to have a good time, said Kennon, manager of Raleigh transportation operations. Over the next year, Kennon, his wife, and their 14-year-old daughter Hannah will clean a shelter on Glenwood Avenue near their home once a month and check the stop regularly for vandalism and maintenance problems.
Its just a great opportunity to give back to the community, he said.
The Kennons are among the first participants in Raleighs Adopt-A-Shelter initiative, which Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Capital Area Transit will formally kick off during a ceremony Monday. The event will dedicate the stop in front of Raleighs Capital Area Transit facility on Poole Road, which has been adopted by employees from Veolia Transportation, which operates CAT buses for the city.
We really want to portray a nice, clean image, said David Eatman, Raleigh transit administrator.
The city already hires workers to clean the shelters and asks bus drivers to keep an eye on them, but volunteers will supplement those services, Eatman said.
It only takes one day to ruin that image, he said. Were really hoping this program will provide an extra set of eyes.
In exchange for their services, volunteers will receive recognition at a City Council meeting and their name and company or group logo on a decal at their shelter, said Lindsay Pennell, Capital Area Transit marketing specialist.
Other cities, including Durham and Cleveland, Ohio, already use similar programs, and Eatman said the success of Adopt-a-Highway programs gives him high hopes for the shelter initiative.
Volunteers can choose from any of Raleighs more than 200 bus shelters, though Pennell said the office has a list of 16 high-priority shelters that need the most attention.
For Kennon and his family, Mondays dedication marks a much-anticipated start to their project.
Well probably do our first shelter visit sometime next week, he said. I would challenge others to consider doing this as well.