The City of Fontana recently completed construction on its beautiful Fire Station #73 at Foothill and Banana. As part of the city’s planning project, a new bus shelter has been installed at the busy Omnitrans Route 66 bus stop located in front of the Fire Station.
“The City of Fontana is very proactive and wants to enhance transit within its community,” explains Stops and Stations Supervisor Mel Cabang. “Because this stop is so busy, the city wanted to add a shelter that would offer better amenities to bus passengers. It plans to add 10-15 additional new bus shelters throughout the area.”
All Omnitrans bus stops are owned by the cities in which they reside. Ridership and space availability determines if a bus stop gets a shelter. In some cases it is not always possible, due to lack of adequate sidewalk clearance, ADA access, budget or other limitations.
“Probably the biggest misconception customers have is that Omnitrans owns its bus stops” says Cabang. “A lot of the calls we get from passengers are requests to trim trees and fix curbs at stop locations. We pass these requests along to the cities for follow up.”
Cities like Fontana make these requests a priority. The city paid close to $10,000 for the new shelter, which took three men a total of 7 hours each to install by hand. The biggest challenge of the installation process is to ensure that everything is plumb and level. If the sidewalk slopes, one side of the shelter has to then be adjusted to accommodate the slant.
Solar lighting fixtures attached to roof panels of the shelter provide illumination. They come on automatically at dusk and turn off in 6 hours. Each day they recalibrate to turn back on about 2 hours before sunrise.
Another benefit that shelters provide is welcome shade. Even though Route 66 runs every 15 minutes, the intense heat from the sun can be overwhelming for waiting passengers.
Cabang was surprised at the difference in temperature as a result of the shelter.
“The sun is really brutal at this location, and I could feel it beating down on my head. Once the roof panels and sides started to go up, it was amazing how much cooler it became and how much shade was created. I felt it right away. It’s going to make a huge difference for our riders.”
Revenue generated from advertising panels on the shelter help cover the cost of maintenance.
Omnitrans has six Marketing Maintenance Workers who maintain each of the agency’s 2,600 stops and 370 shelters. Three of them pick up trash and clean graffiti, two handle pressure washing and do general maintenance, and one is strictly responsible for sbX stations.
Trash is emptied approximately once a week and shelters are pressure washed about once a month. The schedule is more frequent for shelters with higher passenger volume.
Interested in a closer look at the installation process? Click here for more photos.
by Juno Kughler Carlson
Photographer Omnitrans Stops & Stations Supervisor Mel Cabang
Man in Orange: Omnitrans Marketing Maintenance Worker Craig Butler