Hottest in LA: the Bus Stop Heat Bracket
Climate Resolve is launching Hottest in LA: the Bus Stop Heat Bracket to identify the hottest, most-used bus stops in Los Angeles County that are most in need of improvements. With a 32-stop, March Madness-style bracket, Climate Resolve will use online voting and community input to narrow the field down to a Final Four of bus stops that need upgrades, and create digital renderings of how the stops could look with some much-needed love. We will then use the community feedback and renderings to inform local governments about their bus stop needs.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
County of Los Angeles
City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
Most bus stops in LA County resemble little more than a pole stuck in the ground with a placard atop it to indicate a bus line. Bus riders who await their ride are left to bake in the sun, or they scramble to occupy a nearby sliver of shade. It’s not a very dignified experience. As climate change impacts become ever more severe, it’s predicted that many parts of LA County will experience over 100 extreme heat days (defined as exceeding 95°F) each year. Already today many of our most vulnerable Angelenos face potential heat illness or even death from extreme heat exposure. Extreme heat exposure has also been linked to poorer student learning outcomes, as well as spikes in violent crimes. Bus shelters can protect transit riders from extreme heat exposure, yet cities neglect to invest in such basic transit amenities. Bus riders haven’t had an adequate platform to demand the provision of such infrastructure - until now.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Who doesn’t love a good bracket? Hottest in LA: the Bus Stop Heat Bracket will blend bilingual digital and on-the-ground campaigning in order to build public interest in transportation, address extreme heat, and help jurisdictions implement community-driven bus shelter improvements. The project will begin with an analysis of the hottest, most used bus stops in the county. Climate Resolve will then create a bracket of the 32 hottest bus stops in the county, and solicit rider and community feedback on which ones are most in need of improvements. We will also ask how to best redesign them for shade, hydration, and comfort. Climate Resolve will use its extensive online reach to conduct polling across social media platforms, as well as in-person and/or online community meetings to generate design comments and vote on the shelters that will advance to the subsequent rounds. After the Sweaty 16 and Exhausted 8 (names may change), a Final Four will be selected. We will then use the community feedback to create renderings for potential improvements to those bus stops. The team will use this interactive campaign to facilitate meetings with government officials to advocate for the installation of these shelters, sharing the renderings, community feedback, and potential sources of funding. For bus stops that don’t make the final selection, Climate Resolve will package community feedback and send it to the relevant jurisdictions, and will also prioritize these spaces in future campaigns.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Getting where you need to go shouldn’t be threatening to your health. Imagine if it were safe. Now imagine if it were enjoyable. Our program will light a spark in several communities across the county to fight for better transportation amenities and access to community cooling resources. On top of that, jurisdictions will have a better knowledge of funding streams and how to better incorporate community priorities into their transportation infrastructure. What does that look like? It looks like an older Angeleno being able to wait comfortably for the bus, and having access to parts of town they wouldn’t have dared go before. Teens having a place to sit and chat. A thirsty middle schooler grabbing a drink while they wait for the bus to go home from practice. By proliferating community-designed spaces with benches, shade, hydration stations, and other amenities we can create a more nurturing environment for Angelenos, and spur community movements to carry that momentum even further.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
This initiative will identify and engage key communities across the county, both digitally and in-person. Through tracking poll and survey responses, online comments, and advertisement interactions, Climate Resolve will be able to track digital engagement statistics. For the in-person portion of the campaign, Climate resolve will be able to track comments given, event attendance, and meetings with government officials at the later stages of the project. At the end of the campaign our renderings of the top four bus stops will serve as deliverables. While we do not expect jurisdictions to install improvements by the end of the grant period, we will track formal commitments as well as plans to upgrade bus stops. Given that 38.7% of individuals who live in Los Angeles County speak Spanish at home, we will be running this campaign in both Spanish and English to maximize reach and help prioritize equity. All of the above-mentioned metrics will be tracked across both languages.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 22,000
Indirect Impact: 650,000