Greetings from Glasgow, site of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
I’m here, representing Climate Resolve, at the invitation of the UK government.
Our bus shelter project is getting featured. We’re one of twelve finalists from around the globe that will take the stage at the Climate Challenge Cup Innovation Showcase and Award Ceremony later this week. If you’d like to cheer us on, you can livestream it on the main COP26 YouTube feed this Wednesday, November 10, 10:00am-12:00pm PST.
The project is a seemingly simple one – put bus shelters where they’re needed most – and yet achieving that simple goal requires advocacy. Right now, less than 1 in 4 bus stops in the City of Los Angeles have shelters. Most of the existing shelters are located in neighborhoods where ad dollars from the marketing panels prove profitable. It’s as if the prime function of a bus shelter is that of a billboard. Where bus riders could really use shade is a secondary consideration.
Climate Resolve staff worked with the public agency StreetsLA to introduce heat exposure and transit ridership data as the primary factors that will determine where new bus shelters should be sited. We partnered with community-based organizations Pacoima Beautiful, Slate-Z, and Investing in Place to engage with transit riders, to demand more bus shelters. Our advocacy has resulted in a commitment from the City of LA that within the next five years, 3,000 new bus shelters will be added to the sidewalks of LA. Combined with the less than 1,900 that currently exist, the cumulative impact will be to shade at least 75% of all transit trips in each Council District across the City.
Bus riders deserve a more dignified experience, and we’re proud our efforts are delivering that for them.
Representing this climate justice project at COP26 is a great honor.
I’m also looking forward to hearing stories from around the globe, from people taking on the climate challenge.