When it comes to bus shelters, city hoping cheaper is better

2013-12-02T00:05:00Z 2014-01-03T13:26:34Z When it comes to bus shelters, city hoping cheaper is betterBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It might not catch your eye, but the city of Tucson is testing new features at a bus stop along Irvington Road near Interstate 19.

A few cosmetic changes, including a fresh coat of paint and other redesign tweaks, might not jump out to the casual observer.

The bus stop, built by the inmates working for Arizona Correctional Industries, is 40 percent cheaper — saving about $1,200 — than the current model being used by Sun Tran.

Those savings could be smaller when the city solicits competitive bids at some point down the road, but it could be considered a step forward for the cash-strapped, city-owned transit service.

Also, the roof of the bus stop is insulated to help riders beat the heat.

Anyone who has stood under a metal-framed bus stop at noon on a hot summer day will tell you the heat can be hellish.

Tom Fisher, a project manager with the Tucson Department of Transportation, said the new feature should help keep bus riders cooler.

The Transportation Department has also been slowly updating some bus stop benches over the last few months, installing dividers on benches.

The raised metal bars turn benches into individual seats, but their real purpose is keep people from sleeping on the benches.

The city will install the new benches at more bus stops in the future, confirms Fisher, as more funding becomes available.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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