MISSOULA – It’s been a year since Mountain Line updated three of their shelter benches due to safety concerns but the so-called “upgrades” are not making everyone happy.
All of the shelters are on Broadway and the changes were prompted by nearby residents — as well as Mountain Line passengers — who complained that the shelters were being used as a place to sleep.
Hypodermic needles and trash often littered the bus stops, so Mountain Line officials replaced flat benches with leaning benches.
However, there’s been an uptick of recent social media complaints regarding the shelters not being user-friendly, especially for the elderly and disabled.
Now the transit agency is looking for new ways to accommodate all of the riders who use the shelters.
“We will see if there’s a different type of bench that can’t be, you know, broken or damaged to allow people to wait, and also make the shelter a place of waiting, and not of sleeping,” said Mountain Line General Manager Corey Aldridge.
A new federal funding grant will allow Mountain Line to implement future changes to all of its over 400 shelters around the city.
-Russ Thomas reporting for MTN News