RIVERSIDE, CA - July 23, 2003 - The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) has launched an ongoing campaign aimed at improving the appearance and function of bus stops throughout Riverside County. The four-phase program kicked off in April with a bus stop clean up program. The Agency is now in the third phase, which includes the installation of 4,000 newly designed bus stop kiosk signs. Just over 1,200 of the stops currently display the new signs, with the remainder expected by the end of next year.
RTA Marketing Director Jim Kneepkens says, "This year we're placing a lot of emphasis on improving our bus stops. We've broken it down into four main areas of focus: maintenance, lighting, signage, and shelters. In recent years our concentration was on our bus fleet, now we're shifting focus to our bus stops."
The campaign began in April with the launch of a bus stop clean up program called StopWatch. StopWatch encourages riders and the community to report stops that need clean up or repair. To encourage participation, the Agency holds a monthly drawing for a free 31-day pass for anyone who reports a stop.
In May, as part of a pilot program, the Agency installed two solar powered, light up bus stops known as i-STOP™ systems. At the touch of a button, the stops illuminate the immediate area of the service stop and activate a flashing beacon to alert incoming buses to stop. Intended to enhance visibility in rural areas, the stops are currently being tested in Hemet and Mead Valley.
In late May, RTA's former black and white kiosk signs were replaced with a new colorful design. Written in English and Spanish, the signs provide riders with a route map, route schedule, fare information, and RTA's toll-free information line. Some stops will have multiple kiosks for each bus route that serves that stop. Installation of the new signs is currently 25% complete.
Finally, to increase the number of bus shelters in the county, RTA recently proposed funding new shelters through a bus shelter-advertising program. RTA is working with the City and County of Riverside to get the program approved and operational. If approved, the ad agencies would purchase and maintain the shelters, in exchange for prime ad space. The shelters would be placed in high traffic commercial districts. If the program is approved, passengers could begin seeing the new shelters in six months to a year.