Study: One-Quarter of L.A. County Bus Stops Equipped With Shelters

Bus riders in Los Angeles frequently lack protection from sun and extreme heat, with bus stops in some of the county’s hottest areas having the worst amenities.

2 minute read

February 27, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Bus stop in downtown Los Angeles with billboard and no bench or shelter

Walter Cicchetti / Downtown Los Angeles bus stop

If you’ve taken a bus in Los Angeles, chances are you’ve noticed a few desolate bus stops that lack shelters, seating, or nearby trees to offer protection from extreme heat, rain, or wind. Dan Zukowski describes the situation in Smart Cities Dive, referencing a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies that reveals that only 26 percent of Los Angeles County bus stops have shelters.

The problem isn’t unique to the City of Angels: “According to data compiled by the Washington Post last year, less than 20% of more than 122,000 bus stops in use by 16 large U.S. transit agencies have bus shelters.”

As Zukowski explains, “Typically, local jurisdictions, not transit agencies, are responsible for installing and maintaining bus shelters, according to the report. That means that some cities will have substantially higher numbers of shelters while others will have relatively few.” The Lewis Center study noted that in Los Angeles County, “neighborhoods with high Latino populations average temperatures that are four degrees warmer than those with low Latino populations and that ‘extreme heat days are warmer in neighborhoods with more Black residents than those with fewer Black residents.’”

As extreme heat becomes more common, the study’s authors write, “government partners will need to prioritize where new shelters are installed and consider how to maximize their benefits.”

Thursday, February 23, 2023 in Smart Cities Dive

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