solar-powered bus shelters light up cleveland heights nights

The typical Cleveland bus shelter is a drab glass-and-metal box whose primary purpose is keep the wind, snow, rain and salt off riders. They are not exactly known for their aesthetic appeal.

Yet two new shelters installed by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights take a more creative, sustainable approach. The solar-powered shelters light up in various colors at night, contain larger, more comfortable benches, and feature dividers for individual seats.

The new shelters were installed by GCRTA this month using a $100,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration. They are located at Mayfield and Coventry Roads and Mayfield and Warrensville Center Roads. The project was completed in partnership with the City of Cleveland Heights.

“The solar bus stops are a very exciting project for Cleveland Heights that ties in to our commitment to ‘go green’ and support sustainability projects,” said Cleveland Heights Mayor Edward Kelley in a press release. “This partnership with RTA is a great visual way to promote solar energy.”

RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese stated that the project is evidence of RTA’s commitment to sustainability. “Using public transit has always been great for the environment,” he said. “Now, we have re-committed all of RTA to be more sustainable.”

The shelters are powered by a rooftop solar-powered battery system. The exterior lights turn different colors at night, while the interior lights are motion-sensitive and turn on only when a customer is in the shelter.

The shelters were designed by Solar Impact, a local renewable energy company that is based in Shaker Heights. GCRTA developed the bus shelters as part of its sustainability initiative and Transit Waiting Environment program, an effort to improve its bus shelters so that they are more comfortable for users.

Fresh Water Cleveland, 9/29/11

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