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It expects to build 23 more at over $900,000 a piece

The city of Arlington just recently opened an impressive bus stop with a not-so-impressive price tag of $1 million.
The “super stop” in Arlington, Virginia is unlike any other bus stop. It has a custom designed roof made of glass and steel; a wall of etched glass; heaters in the floor; gorgeous landscaping, and concrete/stainless steel benches.
The bus stop has 10-inch high curbs, 90 feet of concrete and can shelter 15 people at a time while waiting for buses to arrive – all at a cost of $1 million.
The cost comes down to $575,000 for construction/fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and inspections, where federal/state money took care of 80 percent of the total price tag.
When Arlington citizens discovered the cost of the super stop, many were outraged.
“That’s ridiculous,” said Robin Stewart, a citizen who was waiting at the super stop. “From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It’s an outrage.”
The super stop opened on March 11, and 23 more are planned for Arlington’s streetcars. The county has set aside $20.8 million for all of them, which is about $904,000 a piece.
The idea behind the fancy bus stops is to not only accommodate Arlington’s plans for its streetcars and buses (about 16,000 people use the Columbia Pike buses for transportation) but to also draw people to the area. New housing is expected to be built in the area over the next two decades, and the county hopes the bus stops will help it flourish.
“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
But citizens are concerned about the budget, saying that Arlington can build nice bus stops without having to spend $1 million.
“Oh my God. How much steel? How much cement? How much glass? One million? Bring them to court,” said Husain Hamid, who was waiting at the super stop. “People are hungry. People are sleeping on the street. It doesn’t need $1 million.”

Source: Washington Post

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RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By Amiga500 on 4/5/2013 3:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 15 people bit had my jaw on the floor.

I was thinking "typo" - surely they mean 150 people. But, the photo would suggest not.

I could build you a 15 person bus shelter for <£1K (actually, much nearer £500) considering materials only. OK, it wouldn't look like much, but it would do the job.

£1K.... vs. $658K. Quite a difference to justify.

By StevoLincolnite on 4/5/2013 6:14:20 AM , Rating: 4
In my small town, we had run-down trashy looking bus stops.
The schools eventually got involved with the art student's and "artsied" them up and they actually look rather nice.
A few years later they attacked all of the towns telephone poles and made them look nice, rather than just having them as boring steel and concrete.
Some were painted, some had sculptures plastered on, some covered in sea-shells etc'.

And the cost? Almost nothing considering that the labor was free and the students got to do something creative.
The only cost was the materials which the school covered, so it couldn't have been to elaborate.

Why don't more places do things like that rather than waste millions/billions of the peoples money?

By FITCamaro on 4/5/2013 7:15:47 AM , Rating: 5
Someone's brother wouldn't get a new lake house then.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By steedsrva87 on 4/5/2013 9:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone is given a budget, and if you don't spend that money you get less the next time around. I agree with a lot of people that this is bull (there are a lot more places in arlington where the money could have gone), but i can also see the other side. Maybe they had 20mil left in their budget, saw that bus stops needed work, and decided "hey, lets make it so an executive would want to stand there"

I will say this, if they have heaters built in, talk about additional costs to the area for electricity. Not to mention that the homeless will stake out these stops to stay each night to stay warm. So all of a sudden your nice bus stop may not look so nice.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By Iketh on 4/6/2013 5:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they have the sense to turn off the heaters after the last bus each night...

By Netscorer on 4/8/2013 8:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think heaters only cover the pavement to prevent icing. To heat the entire stop you need to put radiators in the walls and under benches - doable but not done in this case judging by the pictures.

RE: There's a bloated contractor somewhere...
By dgingerich on 4/5/2013 8:30:10 AM , Rating: 5
Denver spent $1.5mil on a park and ride stop near my current apartment. Here's what they got:
1. 184 parking spaces
2. 8 bus stop shelters where up to 10 people at a time can wait, sheltered from rain
3. 4 electronic ticket dispensers for the nearby light rail station

Granted, the shelters aren't made of stainless steel and aren't as modern or special looking, but they do the job better because they actually have sides to keep out the wind. In addition, they're arranged in a loop to allow for up to 8 buses to load and unload at a time.

The $1.5mil does not include the tunnel under I-25 to the light rail station or the light rail station itself, but it did include land costs. The tunnel and light rail station cost about ten times as much as the park and ride area.

Seriously, someone needs to learn to manage money better.

By BRB29 on 4/5/2013 12:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ha, I've been saying that for years but the government is very inefficient in managing money. It's not that they can't, it's just too much politics and bureaucracy.

Everyone who lives here knows everything cost money and if the government does it then it cost even more. But the thing is that money goes back into economy. While a lot of these corporations are more efficient, they are sending that money overseas. You just can't have it all.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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