The Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with a contract that would create 3,000 bus shelters with added amenities across all districts.
With a 12-1 vote Tuesday, the city council decided to work with Tranzito-Vector on the Street Transit Amenities Program (STAP).
The city intends to update and create more bus stops with more shade to help with inclement weather and screens with bus stop information through digital screens.
“The goal under the contract is to ensure that at least 75% of bus patrons in each council district have shade and or shelter when they board a bus,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said Tuesday. “We’re seeing this in all sorts of other cities. We’re behind the curve on this and we’re L.A., we need to be in front of that curve.”
Tranzito-Vector has also pushed for other amentities in its shelters, such as charging stations for electronings, e-lockers and docking stations for electric scooters.
We envision our bus shelters having partnerships that provide state of the art e-scooter docks and convenient e-lockers. Modern amenities will meet many of the needs of Angelenos on the move. pic.twitter.com/5CGd3WPFBE
— Tranzito-Vector (@TranzitoVector) September 20, 2022
During the council meeting, Councilmember Mike Bonin gave an example of inequity in bus shelters by pointing out a Spring Street bus stop near Los Angeles City Hall that did not provide shade. Bonin said during the latest heat wave, there were Angelenos lined up against a building wall that had a “narrow sliver of shade.”
“People were suffering standing in the heat,” Bonin said. “That is the reality of bus shelters in Los Angeles. There tend to be more of them in my part of town than the rest of the city and that ain’t right.”
Councilmember Rodriguez, who voted against the measure, said she was “concerned about making a commitment to a mirage.”
“While the CIO (Chief Information Officer) has not indicated that there is a potential fiscal impact, there is a fiscal impact and we don’t know what that is going to look like on a year-to-year basis,” Rodriguez said Tuesday. “While I think there are other resources that we could potentially leverage, we have continued to be in a circumstance where if our own general fund budget isn’t fully committed to implementing these things, we’re going to fall short in pursuing some of these other dollars that we should in fact be leveraging to implement the very needs… that public transit users have.”
Rodriguez added that every council district has piloted similar programs to provide transit shelters with amenities, saying, “we know we’re able to do it,” but she still questioned the funding for it and felt the council is not “fully committing” to the program.
Before tabulating the council’s vote, Council President Nury Martinez closed the topic by calling the current bus shelter situation “embarrassing.”
“I really do think it’s embarrassing that the city can’t provide the most basic infrastructure like bus shelters,” Martinez said. “If this contract moves forward today, we need to all make sure that this inequity gets addressed across the city.”
Martinez said the next step for her was to meet with Tranzito-Vector to pinpoint the “critical areas” that need bus shelters in her district, conveying the same expectation for the rest of the council.
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