Bus shelters are important given the protection they provide for riders, but can have even more to them should the right steps be taken to promote and innovate them. As StreetsLA Request for Proposal for the Sidewalk and Transit Amenities Program has been approved, we can see how the push made to get strong private sector innovation for the most innovative bus shelter possible has created some tangible results.
Bus shelters are being designed to provide shade to public transit riders, thus giving them a place to relax from the heat during periods of extreme heat. Besides shade, bus shelters can also be home to hydration stations as well, thereby offering riders a chance to cool down and be more comfortable during their commutes. Lastly, bus shelters can even be made out of smog eating materials like photocatalytic titanium dioxide. Thus, bus shelters can become a place to avoid the heat while reducing pollution in the area.
Still, we need to make sure the city does its part to promote bus shelter equity in Los Angeles. There are currently 1,884 shelters in Los Angeles, and thanks to the way that StreetsLA has structured the upcoming street furniture contract, 3,000 additional shelters will be installed in the next 5 years. Those 3,000 additional shelters will be in locations that meet the goal of covering 75% of transit trip stops in each council district with shade, so that protection from extreme heat and ridership on public transit is equitable across the city. StreetsLA’s Sidewalk and Transit Amenities Program mapping tool shows where extreme heat exposure and ridership are greatest, revealing plenty of spots that are ripe for getting new bus shelters. So be on the lookout for where the StreetsLA RFP goes and make sure to go out and use the new bus shelters so that our city council can hear from you about just how wonderful these bus shelters can be.