|© Arlington Transit CC-BY-SA|
According to local reports and interviews the amenities are fail. The shelter provides little protection against the weather. The bus stop heaters--installed in the pavement--do not keep commuters warm or dry. The only amenity that riders generally liked was the arrival time screen. However, predictive software that tracks transit buses and real-time arrival time screen technology have matured to the point where installing such amenities combined with benches, heaters and a shelter won't cost $1 million per bus stop. According to local sources, 80% of the funding for this boondoggle came from the federal government and the State of Virginia. Through federal taxes, we the folks in the Inland Empire paid in part for this madness.
|Cost Efficient: Standard ceiling heaters for a Chicago transit station.|
Photo: Chicago Transit Authority
How does all this relate to the Inland Empire? Our local transit agencies and cities should use this as a big fiscal lesson when it comes to building and maintaining individual high-ridership bus stops and small 1-3 bus bay transfer hubs. Incorporate any new ideas for amenities into public transit infrastructure like heaters under the sidewalk after it has been proven to efficiently work beyond reasonable doubt by the private sector. That's how "Super Stops" can be made more affordable.
Finally, if you're happening to be touring Washington D.C., you might as well include a visit and enjoy this glorified bus stop at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed because we the people paid the $1 million for this bus stop.