In times of recession, spend $1m on a bus stop

Is $1 million for a bus stop justifiable to promote a town?

In London, many bus stops are covered in graffiti, have plastic panels due to glass often being shattered, and paint has long since peeled away. Some new variants include real-time updates of when your next ride is due. However, in Arlington, transportation officials are going beyond expectations -- and have spent $1 million on a "super" bus stop.

Interesting choice to make when the economy is in tatters.

It's not to say they aren't pretty to look at. Complete with glass-and-steel slanted roof, landscaping, a heated floor and benches, the bus stop can shelter up to 15 people, and has 10-inch high curbs and 90 feet of concrete which is large enough to cater for two buses at a time, according to the Washington Post.

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While waiting for transport at one of the new stops and told of the price tag, commuter Robin Stewart said:

“What? That's ridiculous. From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It's an outrage."

Arlington's transport officials have said that the bus stop, which took 18 months to build, is "an investment in infrastructure to support the [Columbia] Pike's renewal." In addition, the prototype was bound to incur heavy costs, and as part of a 4.5 mile streetcar track from Fairfax County to the Pentagon, it will eventually be a model that can help transport new residents and invigorate the town.

Each super bus stop cost $575,000 for construction and $440,000 covered inspections and management. 23 more are expected to be built for $900,000 each, and the next is due to begin next month. Federal and state transport funding have covered 80 percent of the bill.

The county has set aside $20.8 million to build the remaining bus stops.

"Oh my God. How much steel? How much cement? How much glass? One million? Bring them to court," said another traveler, Husain Hamid, who was waiting at the super stop. "People are hungry. People are sleeping on the street. It doesn’t need $1 million."

Via: Washington Post

Image credit: Screenshot/Washington Post

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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