What SFU needs: better bus shelters

When waiting for a bus on top of a mountain, tiny glass umbrellas aren’t enough

Bus shelters that protecc when nature attacc. Illustration by: Tiffany Chan / The Peak

By: Winona Young, Head Staff Writer

Is there anything worse than walking up to the sea of students fresh from their afternoon lecture, all congregated at the upper bus loop at 5:30 p.m.? Yes! It’s SFU’s lacklustre bus shelters — especially the lower transit centre, now that it has been relocated away from the larger shelter covers and security phone. SFU-goers are herded into those tiny shelters like overcrowded cattle running on too little coffee.

WHAT WE LACK

  1. Overhead shelters that protect people from harsh sunlight, rain showers, snow, and brisk gusts of wind
  2. Ample seating for sitting passengers
  3. Leveled terrain that is neither dangerously close to a curb nor too bumpy for passengers using wheelchairs or with strollers
  4. Heating and cooling mechanisms for climate control 
  5. Weather-proof seating 
  6. Lighting system to keep the area lit past sunset
  7. Nearby security-call button for the safety of passengers
  8. Mosquito netting at the lower transportation centre 

THE VISION

Introducing the SFSS (Shelters For Sweaty Students in the summer, or Shelters For Shivering Students the rest of the year). Inside this glass box with solar roof panelling that helps power the LED overhead lights, this bus shelter will beat sitting in the AQ for relief from the elements. With multiple wooden benches and a stylish rectangular shape, the SFSS allows for multiple students to feel safe and comfortable while waiting for their ride. The shelter includes a built-in fan for the summer and a radiator for the winter. Doors open automatically so commuters need not worry about gripping germ-ridden handles that are too hot or cold. And passengers commuting after a late night class can feel the slightest bit safer in this well-lit area with security just a phone call away thanks to the built in landline.

WHY SFU NEEDS IT

Commutes are an integral part of the majority of SFU students’ lives. That’s thousands of students traveling on and off the mountain, enduring every little weather change directly while waiting for transport. And let’s face it, TransLink bus schedules will never be perfect. But with SFSS bus shelters, there will be fewer students out in the sweltering heat or heavy snowfall waiting for a bus that may never come. There’s already enough to gripe about with SFU being on a mountain, but with these shelters, at least we can make the cattle of students a little less cranky on their commutes.