VTA is continuing to invest in upgrades to its transit network and has increased efforts to show greater commitment to bus riders and attract new ones by making its facilities more appealing.
In 2020, VTA launched the Better Bus Stops Program to make bus stop improvements across the system. The Program enhances the rider experience by installing new or replacement amenities and improving bus stop site conditions. Amenities typically include installing new shelters, upgrading lighting, replacing or installing benches or seats, widening sidewalks, updating bus pads to protect the roadway at the stop, installing bike racks, replacing trash cans, and installing braille placards and improving wheelchair accessibility at all stops to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
VTA currently has more than 3,200 bus stops each with unique site conditions, operational needs, ridership levels, and accessibility factors. Due to the large number of bus stops that could use a makeover, staff has structured the program's improvements into cycles of a manageable number of stops. During 2022, VTA installed over 150 benches and installed new solar lights. Construction is underway for 33 new shelters, 23 bike racks, 100 benches and sidewalk improvements.
Deciding which bus stops receive the upgrades first is no easy task. Guiding factors include ridership, equity, stop placement and accessibility, and community and operator input. That input is collected and considered year-round through VTA’s Customer Service line, operator comment cards, and outreach events. Better Bus Stops also keeps its online survey open year-round for riders to rate a specific bus stop and note which amenities should be prioritized more than others. The survey can be found at www.vta.org/better-bus-stops.