In the midst of this recession many transit companies are expanding their routes into the sprawling suburbs to accommodate cost conscious commuters who are leaving their cars at home.
Transit authorities around the country are discovering how to "wake up" the shelter at night and early morning to make it appealing for the transit rider by using solar powered lighting.
With solar lighting, the shelter at night emits a welcoming glow and sense of safety on a darkened street. The expense of lighting the shelters year round is eliminated while the lighted shelters along the route are a form of branding for the transit company.
Handi-Hut, Inc. (www.handi-hut.com), a 40 year old passenger shelter company, began "planting" its green solar powered shelters about 10 years ago.
Since then, Handi-Hut solar powered bus stop shelters have mushroomed like wildflowers in every section of the United States. Affordable solar lighting is now shining in many newly installed shelters. Transit companies and others that have recently seen the light are:
Metro Regional Transit, Akron, Ohio
GATRA, Taunton, MA
Atomic City Transit, Los Alamos, NM
Pleasanton Automall, Pleasanton, CA
Concordia University, Mequon, WI
City of Pendelton, Pendelton, OR
Franklin Transit Authority, Franklin, TN
Santa Barbara Airport, Goleta, CA
Plus many others
Transit companies are increasing the use of bus stop shelters with much of the funding coming from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Until the advent of inexpensive, reliable solar powered lighting, it was too expensive to wire the shelter to a power source. Solar energy modules save thousands of dollars over traditional electric wiring with the dividend of NO utility bills.
Handi-Hut has also been producing bus stop shelters with electric powered advertising panels for many years. Recently, Handi-Hut developed a low cost, low upkeep solar powered advertising panel. They anticipate the market for this new product will bloom when it is plugged in.
On existing shelters with unlighted advertising panels, the ad panels can be retro fitted and easily installed with Handi-Hut's solar lighting system.
Heretofore, when advertising panels were added to the shelter they lost the impact of being illuminated. Now, special solar powered backlighting developed by Handi-Hut brightens the message on the ad panels.
Highly visible bus stop shelters with advertising panels have attracted advertisers for the attention they get from bus passengers and the occupants of passing autos.
Now that solar lit advertising panels are affordable, they attract advertisers and have become an additional source of revenue for transit companies...and their use continues to grow.
Innovative use of solar power on bus stop shelters is a glowing example of transit routes being upgraded and made more attractive.