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UCLA study finds only a quarter of L.A. Metro bus stops offer shade

People waiting under a shaded bus stop.

A new report by the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies found that only 26% of Los Angeles Metro bus stops have shelters that provide shade.

Previous research has shown that the residents who are most likely to use public transportation will be among the populations who have the highest risks for death from heat-related causes. Further studies have also demonstrated that bus shelters are a proven way to help mitigate these impacts of extreme heat.

UCLA’s researchers, in collaboration with the advocacy group MoveLA, created a baseline understanding of how prevalent shelters are for L.A.’s bus riders. L.A. Metro, the largest provider for the city, was the focus of the new study. Researchers analyzed where shelters are located, measured their locations against average summer temperatures, and compared the numbers of shelters across cities and legislative districts.

What they found was, that of the 10,526 stops with available data, only 26% currently have shelters to provide shade. Furthermore, most bus stops were located in the county’s hotter areas, where average high temperatures during the summer months reach 97 degrees.

The responsibility for building and maintaining bus shelters falls on the respective cities and counties, leading to a distribution of bus shelters that varies greatly by city. In the city of Bell, 89% of bus stops have shelters; whereas, Beverly Hills, Downey and Bellflower all have less than 10% of their bus stops covered. 

Read more about this new study at UCLA Newsroom.

Image Source: Kevin Liu/Investing in Place