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Fort Worth project to keep bus riders out of the sun and rain looks to City Council

An illustration showing what the Glen Park bus shelters will look like. They're simple brown structure with slanted, corrugated roofs. The illustration shows people sitting and standing, waiting for the bus.
Tarrant Transit Alliance
The winning design for the Glen Park Bus Shelter Project, made by Tarrant County College student Dahlia Rodriguez and her cousin Jose Rodriguez, a packaging designer and graduate of the Tarrant Transit Alliance's Transit Academy.

The Glen Park neighborhood has few bus stops with places to sit or protection from the weather. Community and transit advocates are working together to add more shelters themselves, but they need the green light from the city.

A community-led project to build new bus shelters in Fort Worth's Glen Park neighborhood is asking for the City Council's help.

The neighborhood in southeast Fort Worth has 36 bus stops, but only a few have seating, or awnings to protect people from the elements,according to the Tarrant Transit Alliance.

In 2020, the Glen Park Neighborhood Association and the TTA started the Glen Park Bus Shelter Project: an independent project to build five new shelters. They surveyed residents about what they wanted and evenheld a design competition. Now,Tarrant County College is helping to build the shelters, using a $7,600 grant from the American Public Transportation Association.

The project’s supporters asked the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday to waive the $700 fee to build the shelters on city property, said Jonathan Guadian, one of the project organizers.

"We constantly see our neighbors standing at these bus stops for intervals of 30 to 60 minutes while they wait on their bus,” Guadian told City Council members. “Sometimes we see them using the curb as a place to sit. Other times we see them standing in the shade of a utility pole to find some relief from the sun.”

Trinity Metro, the public transit service that operates Fort Worth’s bus system, is another partner in the project. Trinity Metro’s own survey data shows that riders want better bus stops, with more benches and shelters.

Adding those will improve the public transit experience, said Andre McEwing, the former chair of the Tarrant Transit Alliance, who joined advocates speaking in favor of the shelter project.

"They want to ride to get to the medical facility, they want a ride to get to the stores, to the jobs, but we need to help them at the bus stop,” McEwing said.

During the meeting, Mayor Mattie Parker connected Guadian with a member of city staff, and said "We’ll talk about the project.”

Robert Ford with Tarrant County College said two of the shelters should be ready to install by mid-May.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.