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Your chance to vote on where Philly needs new transit shelters

The trolley runs through Media near Veterans Square

SEPTA riders, neighborhood groups and City Council members have long been calling for more transit shelters, and late last year a platform finally launched for residents to have their say.

According to Angela Dixon, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), the City of Philadelphia has over 8,000 surface transit stops. Only 300 of those have covered transit shelters, and an effort is afoot to double that number while also replacing all existing stops. Residents are voting on where the new shelters should go.

"This network was established over 25 years ago and is well past its useful life," says Dixon. In 2014, the City kicked off a competitive RFP process for managers of a new Street Furniture Concession Agreement that will last for 20 years. Intersection was ultimately chosen and authorized to develop, install and maintain the new shelters, which will be funded by an advertising program, not taxpayers.

A public voting website to determine the placement of the new shelters was a stipulation of the Concession Agreement; it launched in late October 2015. The criteria were determined with several factors in mind: the ridership at the individual stops, requests received from a variety of public and private sources, available space, and the stops’ proximity to sites like hospitals, senior centers, shopping centers and community centers.

The website’s "add a shelter" feature also allows voters to suggest a location not currently on the map. MOTU reviews these submissions and decides, based on ridership at the site and other factors, whether they’ll be added to the official voting roster. Site users can also leave their comments.

Dixon confirms that people are interacting with site already, but it’ll get a boost early this year with a new ad campaign on buses, existing shelters and libraries.

Writer: Alaina Mabaso
Source: Angela Dixon, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities
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