This letter is in response to Linda Robertson’s March 4 article, “When is a bus shelter not a bus shelter? Ask riders who burn their butts and get wet.”
The article presented only a fraction of the facts about what is being done to replace the missing canopies at bus shelters along the South-Dade TransitWay and other improvements being made to this corridor.
Of the 56 bus shelters along the TransitWay, 30 of them are the canopy type. Approximately 63 sections of the 30 canopies were damaged during Hurricane Irma. This represents about 80 percent of the total damaged canopies. The rest of the damaged canopy sections were under repair prior to Hurricane Irma. These had been damaged due to deterioration or vandalism.
After Hurricane Irma, the Department of Transportation and Public Works evaluated the bus shelters to determine what would be the best way to replace the canopies to make them more durable. We are currently working on soliciting a contract to replace the missing canopy sections and are working to expedite this process. All the canopies should be replaced by summer.
The article also mentioned other issues, such as the cleanliness of bus shelters. We have a roving crew that cleans the shelters daily. For the convenience of our riders who bike and take transit to work, we have installed a “U” bike rack at every shelter location.
We also have a process in place to collect abandoned shopping carts, and either return or recycle them. By April 2018, we’ll have installed new stainless steel trash cans at every shelter location.Telephones along the TransitWay are maintained through a contracted service. The contractor removes or repairs the phones on as-needed basis. We regularly notify the contractor when we find payphones that are not working properly or have been vandalized.
Let me say that safety is our number one priority. In addition to regularly patrolling the TransitWay, we are exploring the feasibility of installing security cameras and adding new LED lighting on all TransitWay bus shelters.
We have also made other improvements along the TransitWay in terms of bus service and signal priority. In late 2016, we split Route 34 into two legs to improve service and customer experience.
In December 2017, we began testing transit signal priority along the TransitWay and already Metrobus riders on this corridor are seeing a significant reduction in their commute time, from Homestead to the Dadeland area and back.
We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve and expand our Park & Ride facilities along the TransitWay. When the South Corridor is developed, riders will be able to enjoy not only additional Park & Ride facilities, but also robust climate-controlled stations, as well as other amenities that will greatly improve their transit experience.
Alice N. Bravo, director,
Department of Transportation and Public Works