At a press conference yesterday in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and other elected officials announced new funding to add shelters and shade structures to barren bus stops citywide.
The funding, which includes a $30-million Public Works trust fund loan, will go toward the first wave of projects in the Sidewalk and Transit Amenities Program - or STAP - which calls for building 3,000 bus shelters and 450 shade structures citywide. That money would be coupled with $8 million already allocated to STAP in the city budget.
Additionally, outgoing Congressman Tony Cárdenas was on hand to announce $2.5 million in Federal Community Project funding for other shade structures, new stretches of cool pavement, street trees, and other projects intended to offer relief from sweltering heat in the Valley.
“Today we see new momentum to combat the impacts of climate change throughout our city services, including new bus shelters to protect Angelenos from sweltering heat, planting more trees and using new techniques like cool pavement to lower the overall street temperature and make Los Angeles cooler,” said Bass in a news release. “We must use all of the tools we have in order to build a greener Los Angeles, starting with improving our city services which is made possible through the partnership with our City Council, Metro and congressional representatives coming together to secure additional funding for new infrastructure. New bus shelters will be located with purpose so that communities have relief from the heat and the worsening impacts of climate change that are felt by hotter days throughout the year.”
Installation of the bus shelters is scheduled to begin in 2024, and would be completed over a period of three to six years. City officials expect to see more new bus shelters delivered in the next year than in the previous decade, City Councilmember Nithya Raman noted in a statement.
Separately, Metro is poised to spend $53 million on new bus shelters as part of the North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project. Originally envisioned as a bus rapid transit line, the project has since been scaled back to enhancements to the key east-west corridors of Nordhoff Street and Roscoe Boulevard, with more frequent service, peak-hour lanes, and up to 400 new shelter structures.
The STAP program has a goal of ensuring that 75 percent of bus riders in each Los Angeles City Council district will board at stops with shelters. The location of the new structures will be determined based on factors including ridership and exposure to heat, as well as equity considerations such as minority populations, household income, and the prevalence of zero-vehicle households. Features of the new structures would include real-time bus arrival information, an emergency call feature, LED edge lighting, and potentially amenities such as phone charging stations or WiFi.
In addition to the announced city funding, a portion of the $238-million price tag for STAP will be covered by advertising costs. Shelters will be equipped with either static or digital display panels, though less than 25 percent are permitted to have digital displays.
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