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Industrial design students at UL Lafayette are looking into the future of public transportation in the City of Lafayette.

The fourth-year students are focused on the redesign of transportation via the bus system. Its their main project for the semester.

“I’ve asked the students to push the envelope and do some sky blue thinking,” said Professor Jerome Malinowski. “Students are projecting Lafayette’s public transportation system into the distance of a 30-year future while developing design concepts for the next generation of public transportation.”

These concepts include monorail and self-guided mini-transit units to the redesigning of the existing bus infrastructure.

Using Lafayette as a model for the introduction to new trends of public transportation, the class has also considered the potential for their model to be used in other cities.

“Students were required to assimilate information through interaction with all parties concerned,” explained Malinowski. “These inquiries produced information that was imperative to generate the design criteria.”

He noted that understanding human needs and the government agencies that provide the public transportation, the students furthered their research through professional journals, books and the Internet.

After conducting this research, the students turned their ideas into actual design concepts using three-dimensional computer modeling and three-dimensional foam core transportation models. Some of these ideas have led to new ergonomic concepts in seating, heating and cooling to improve the comfort level of driver and passengers while keeping costs in line.

“ Further inquires are projected at improving the driver’s cockpit to improving visibility and overall functionality,” said Malinowski “With a greater emphasis on human factors and human needs, students are paying particular attention to specifications and requirements for the handicapped and diverse members within our society. In addition, aerodynamic considerations have led to the generation of new and exciting transportation forms.”

These senior students displayed their work at the First Transit Festival on Oct. 11.

Student exhibitors include Craig Boudreau, Jason Blanchard, Scott Bourque, Barrett Broussard, Ryan Broussard, Brian Canova, Jeremy Comeaux, Mario Jimenez, Chad Richter, William Rose, Monique Sonnier, Brooks Vaughan, Anna Maria Vercher and Rhett Wyatt.