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Thursday, June 13, 2024

LA’s newest bus shelter unveiled at Koreatown’s Olympic and Western avenue

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LA’s newest bus stop shelters will be installed for the first time in Koreatown.

On April 9, StreetsLA, a program of the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, installed the new shelter at the Olympic and Western stops of the Metro in Koreatown.

The shelter, which consists of a steel roof shade and chairs, is equipped with height-adjustable chairs, emergency call buttons, voice guidance systems for the visually impaired, and lighting for nighttime use.

In addition, a large monitor on the side displays advertisements as well as emergency and social support resources, while a monitor on the left displays the bus schedule and weather.

The new bus stop shelters are part of the City of Los Angeles’ Sidewalk Transit Amenities Program (STAP).

The program, which aims to install 3,000 bus stop shelters and 450 shade structures across the city, was approved by the City Council in 2022 and is making its debut in Koreatown.

LA city workers are installing a bus shelter at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Western Avenue on April 9. [Sangjin Kim, The Korea Daily]

“The Olympic/Western stop was prioritized based on data from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA-Metro), which counted the number of senior riders at each bus stop and their wait times in high temperatures,” said Kenneth Tang, STAP co-program manager.

This shows how inadequate the town’s bus stops have been for many residents who rely on the bus.¬†The Korea Daily has been raising the issue of the lack of shade in Koreatown for two years.

At that time, a Metro public hearing in Koreatown revealed that only three or four of the 12 stops along Olympic Boulevard had shade.

Streets LA began paving the sidewalks around the Olympic/Western stop on April 1 and installing the shelters from April 9.

The agency expects it will take another week or so for the shelter to be fully installed and to undergo several tests. LA Mayor Karen Bass is expected to hold a press conference there in the coming weeks.

Yong-sun Kim, 80, who uses the bus two to three times a week, welcomed the new shelters, saying, “In the summer, I see elderly people with painful legs waiting for the bus,” adding, “If there are more shelters like this, I think I can use the bus more comfortably.”

“I used to wait in the sun during the day, and sometimes I had to wait for a long time,” said Jin-sook Kwon, a frequent bus rider. “It’s good to know that seniors can now sit and rest while waiting for the bus.”

Through STAP, Streets LA is replacing 3,000 of the 9,000 bus stops in the city with these new shelters. Including Olympic and Western, about 30 of these will be prioritized in Downtown LA and Hollywood.

In particular, the ad revenue from the large monitors installed in the new stop shelters will cover the cost of maintenance and additional installations, meaning the stops will be self-managed.

“Advertisers want to maintain a good image, so they will always want to keep them clean,” said Tang. “In addition, these stops are included in the MYLA311 system, which allows anyone to file a complaint with a QR code attached to the stop, and contractors will go out and clean the place where the complaint is filed, so we don’t have to manage it ourselves.”

[jang.suah@koreadaily.com, kim.kyeongjun1@koreadaily.com]