Editor: In the recent article “Pike Transit-Shelter Construction to Return,” the Sun Gazette reported that the projected cost for the first four bus stops, out of an anticipated total of 23 new stops, is $412,000 apiece.
That is, as you indicate, appreciably less than the million-dollar stop built in 2013. It is still, I submit, an outrageously high price for structures that may not even do the job.
You report that concern has been expressed that the new stops will not provide much shelter from the elements – and the artist’s rendition in fact shows a structure that looks elegant but has an unnecessarily high roof and is open at the side.
Has the county government considered cheaper, prefabricated and not specially designed alternatives? In 5 minutes on the Internet, I came on a firm that produces various prefabricated shelters, aluminum with glass sides, that look quite presentable and durable. The largest of them can shelter 12 to 14 people, which is as many people as I have ever seen waiting at a stop.
I phoned them, and was told that the cost per shelter was a little less than $16,000. Whatever the cost of transport and installation might be, the total cost could certainly not reach as much as $50,000.
Are these shelters in fact presentable in appearance, and of good quality? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t take county staff long to find out.
Arlington County should not waste taxpayer dollars. Twenty-three shelters times $412,000 equals more than $9 million, not a small amount even for one of the wealthiest counties in America.
Peter Bridges, Arlington