On rainy days like today, the last thing people want to do is stand in the rain. Unfortunately, many people don’t have any choice when they use public transportation. The good news is the cities of Lauderhill and Tamarac will be receiving more much-needed bus shelters in the near future. Tamarac will be installing theirs through grant money and Lauderhill with stimulus funds.
At the August City Commission meeting, City Manager Michael Cernech announced that the city received $401,400 from a federal bus shelter grant that they had applied for.
Jennifer Bramley, Director of Community Development said that the grant program requires a 20% match in local and or in-kind funds which will be provided through installation costs of the shelters including city staff time.
“We based the first phase of the program (17 shelters) on ridership and will most likely do the same for the second phase.”
Lauderhill will be receiving two new shelters through through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act according to Mayor Richard Kaplan. The new shelters will be located at the corner of Commercial and University Drive and Commercial and NW 64th Avenue in front of the Marathon Gas Station. Both are scheduled to be installed by April 2013. The shelter on 64th Avenue will have a bench, trash bin and bike rack.
Currently, many residents that are using Broward County Transit are waiting next to a pole with nowhere to sit and unprotected from the frequent rain storms. Makeshift boxes or shopping carts are used for seating. Lack of light during early mornings and after dusk leaves residents standing in the dark. Since there are no garbage cans nearby, many leave trash on the ground, forcing property owners to clean up the mess.
Public transportation should a comfortable, convenient and safe option. Having safe shelters while using Broward County Transit will not only encourage more ridership, it will also enhance the aesthetics of the city.
Besides ridership requirements, Bramley said the city will consider shelter locations depending on the width of the sidewalk where it will be installed. Some locations will not have enough room to place the shelter. However, if the ridership is sufficient, the city will approach the adjacent property owner for an easement.
Under the Federal Bus and Bus Facilities grant funds, the City of Tamarac applied for the Bus Livability Initiative which provides funding to replace, rehabilitate, and to purchase buses and related equipment, as well as construct bus facilities. The intent of the program is to enhance mobility of the public by using mass transit to reduce traffic congestion and emissions.