Letter writer David Hummel’s observations about today’s bus stops (“Modern Bus Stops,” Dec. 1) are on the mark. Unlike so much else in transportation, bus stops have remained unimproved.
A local organization is changing that. The nonprofit Airport Corridor Transportation Association recently conducted an intensive study of bus stops, culminating in a set of four suburban bus stop design prototypes.
One of the prototypes will be built in 2014 — a new bus shelter in Robinson Township, on the IKEA side of Park Manor Boulevard. It will represent a giant leap forward in safety and convenience. Amply set back from the roadway, it will be accessible and will offer sufficient room for sitting and standing. Amenities will include solar-powered lighting, bike racks and trash receptacles. Pedestrian access across the boulevard to the bus shelter will be greatly improved via a new traffic signal and crosswalks. It will incorporate the airport corridor’s first bike workstation — a self-contained, free-standing facility where cyclists can make simple bike repairs using tools securely cabled to the workstation.
Nearby, riders and others can sit comfortably at outdoor chairs and tables as they wait, eat or read. The project, spearheaded by ACTA, is a landmark in public-private partnerships. ACTA won competitive funding from PennDOT for the initiative, which is being accomplished in partnership with Robinson. IKEA has contributed funding and has donated the right of way. Planning was achieved in cooperation with the Port Authority.
The new bus shelter project is receiving attention across the region — and far beyond — because many of its principles apply not only to suburban areas but everywhere waiting riders want to be safer and more comfortable.
ROBERT E. DUDASH
Airport Corridor Transportation Association