West Hollywood Tests Bus Shelter/Stop Prototypes as Part of Its ‘Smart City’ Program

Smart City bus stop (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)
Smart City bus stop (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)

The City of West Hollywood has installed two prototype “Smart” bus shelters/stops on Santa Monica Boulevard. Following a period of testing and refinement of the two prototypes, a citywide rollout of the new bus shelters/stops is anticipated throughout 2019 and early 2020.

These prototypes are part of the city’s WeHo Smart City

Initiative, which works to weave technology into the fabric of the city to improve the quality of life, health and safety of residents. The Smart City Strategic Plan addresses local and regional urban challenges with a focus on five core subject areas: Sustainability, Mobility, Accessibility, Resiliency, and Transparency (SMART).

The Smart Bus Shelter prototype features a large shade canopy, integrated seating with enhanced armrests, and vibrant digital and print advertising and public service announcement panels. The shelter incorporates an ADA wheelchair zone and its ambient ceiling lighting was designed to look as if standing underneath a leafy tree canopy. It is located on the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard, just west of North San Vicente Boulevard.

The Smart Bus Stop prototype accommodates existing trees and space constraints in the public right-of-way where a bus shelter cannot fit. The prototype features a freestanding feature-rich bus stop kiosk and adjacent ergonomic wood bench seating with armrests. It is located on the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard, just west of North Sweetzer Avenue, across from West Hollywood City Hall.

Both prototypes feature innovative interactive features such as:

· Visual real-time bus arrival information on a digital text screen;

· Audio real-time bus arrival information operated by push button aimed at assisting people with vision impairment;

· Bus stop street name with six-inch letter height;

· USB charging ports;

· Wi-Fi; and

· Energy-efficient LED edge lighting.

In its announcement of the installations, the city notes that “Bus shelters/stops are increasingly recognized in cities large and small as essential ingredients for successful mobility and place-making — a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces, which builds upon a community’s assets, inspiration, and potential to create public spaces that promote people’s well-being. With advances in technology, Smart bus shelters/stops offer enhanced features for pedestrians and transit users, alike.

“The City of West Hollywood’s Smart bus shelters/stops project integrates existing infrastructure and adds technology that people rely on while getting around; the project reimagines the digital urban experience. This project is a public private partnership between City of West Hollywood and Outfront Decaux Street Furniture LLC.”

    1. Why not invest in making our city better for the people that live here and pay taxes? Why is it that the transients have more rights than the hardworking people who live here?

      1. because the world is upside down. Our cities are turning into 3rd world countries and it gets worse by the day. And we’re just allowing it to happen.

  1. The new bus stops are incredibly more attractive and “creative” than the previous. Finally! All the advertising, though, on those huge screens at those bus stops effectively every few feet in every sidewalk all the time when all stops are done the same – that mass advertising mess undoes much of the fine benefits of the new stops and should all be shut off posting only community art and notices.

  2. Great just what we need new bus stops that will become homeless encampments as they can charge their phone and get WIFI there.

    1. Yes, what we need to do is make sure they stay homeless forever by not giving them any resources at all. /s

  3. Is there a consultant, committee or think tank out there focused on designing personal pods impervious to every element for all those in fear of everything? That way everyone will be able to forgo personal responsibility and depend on a camera somewhere to somehow monitor every move and thus compile a file for future analysis.

  4. Like we don’t already have a bill board bingeing display on sunset blvd thanks to all those bill board company donations to most of our current city council members election funds (Look It up on the city website. Now the spin is how to get electric billboards into the bus stops. And or use them as creative ads with all kinds of props on top. When will the bill board and advertising lobby get a check and balance by some form of city code?

  5. Instead of USB charging ports and WiFi maybe we could have buses that go all the way to Santa Monica (I know, not the city’s purview..)

    1. ^ What Hank said. The 704 runs all the way from DTLA (union station) to Santa Monica (SMB/Ocean), along Cesar Chavez/Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd. A great App I’ve found is called “Transit” – it helps plan/coordinate trips between multiple public transportation services including WeHo Cityline and Metro buses. It even warns you when to walk to the bus stop so you don’t miss your bus 🙂

  6. I’ve seen homeless people trespassing all over town, in every neighborhood, because they’re using someone’s exterior electrical outlet to charge their phones. I guess these smart bus stops will help ease that problem.

  7. I’m in favor of anything that makes public transportation better, more comfortable more attractive and safer for the people who use it, with the goal of encouraging more use. However, it looks like there is only seating for four people. I would have suggested that the seating be increased, that cameras be installed to dissuade any would-be illegal activity and to protect those waiting. Plus installation of barrier poles in front of the bus stop to stop cars that could potentially jump the curb and hit the bus stop. This has occurred many times in the LA area. There was no opportunity for public input regarding this matter nor transparency regarding bids for the job. Also, the “armrests” are to keep the homeless from laying on the bench which is a good thing, but at least call it what it is.

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