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Santa Monica Doesn't Know What To Do About Its Bus Stops
Santa Monica is looking for some feedback on a new bus stop design, as riders hated their late one. So far, it seems like some people hate this one, too. Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica's transit authority, has unveiled two new, but very similar, prototypes that consist of a wide chair and a small table. The prototypes are being installed at various stops around town through February 19 so that riders can try them out. Riders can then provide feedback here.
According to BBB's website, the seats were designed with input from Santa Monica's Disabilities Commission and the Commission on Senior Community. Each has a slightly different width, heigh and depth. BBB is calling them Seat A and Seat B.
In a video from Westside Today, Dan Martinez says he is a daily bus rider and does not approve of the new stops. He says they were clearly designed by a person who does not take the bus.
They do seem to be more about form than function. They may seem hip with the little table to set your Bulletproof Coffee on, but in reality, there are no arm rests (which some senior or disabled riders use to help them stand up), no place to put belongings and no shade. BBB does say that busier stops are sited with shade somewhere, but not necessarily over a seat. Rain apparently isn't a huge concern because, well, it's SoCal.
Santa Monica bus riders hated the last new bus stops—tiny individual seats with no backs—too. You might be asking yourself at this point what's wrong with the traditional benches? They seat multiple people, have backs and arm rests, and often shade. Well, that's the problem. People liked to sit on them too much, apparently. The Santa Monica Police Department said they'd received numerous complaints about people loitering on benches, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports. Police say these complaints typically came from business owners with establishment located near stops and bus riders.