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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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By StevoLincolnite on 4/5/2013 6:14:20 AM , Rating: 4
Agreed.
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.


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