Work crews in Thunder Bay are laying the groundwork for several new transit shelters that will be placed in high-traffic bus stops across the city.
Lakehead University student Rachel Slipperjack says she will appreciate having a shelter where she waits for her bus at the corner of Bay and Algoma Streets.
“Honestly, a lot of the times you kind of have to wait for the bus for quite a while, so standing out in the cold is not the greatest,” she said.
Her stop is one of 18 locations around Thunder Bay to receive new shelters.
Other places include Intercity Shopping Centre, the airport and the new courthouse.
Shelter from 'the elements'
Transit manager Brad Loroff said the new shelters are a step up from the existing model.
“The shelters themselves are bigger, so ... they just afford a little bit more space ... for people to get away from the elements when it's nasty out,” he said.
But riders who were hoping for heat are out of luck.
"We did look, as part of this project, at radiant heat on demand as an option to be placed into shelters,” Loroff said. "[But] for the purposes of this project … the funding … just didn't allow [it].”
Some Canadian cities do have some heated bus shelters, including Ottawa and Winnipeg.
Loroff said the shelters should be installed by March of 2014.
About 15 per cent of Thunder Bay's roughly 800 bus stops have shelters, he noted. By comparison, both Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury have shelters at about 10 per cent of their bus stops.
Part of the funding for the Thunder Bay shelters comes from the federal government's Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. The rest is from the city.
See where the new bus shelters will be located on the Thunder Bay map below: