UCLA Study Finds Only a Quarter of L.A. Metro Bus Stops Offer Shade
According to a new UCLA report, only 26% of Los Angeles Metro bus stops have shelters that provide shade. The figure is significant because some of the L.A. residents who are most likely to get around the city on foot or using public transportation will be among the populations who, in the coming years, will have the highest risks for death from heat-related causes. And research has demonstrated that bus shelters are a proven way to help mitigate the impact of extreme heat. In the U.S. overall, extreme heat already kills more people than any other natural disaster. And a 2020 study by the Los Angeles Urban Cooling Collaborative found that as Los Angeles gets hotter, Black, Latino and older adults will experience the largest increases in mortality due to increases in extreme heat. So researchers at the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, in collaboration with the advocacy group MoveLA, wanted to create a baseline understanding of how prevalent shelters are for Los Angeles bus riders, especially with legislation on the topic now being considered in the California State Assembly. More than 60 transit agencies provide service to the region, but Metro is the largest and was the focus of the new study. Researchers analyzed where in Los Angeles shelters are located, measured their locations against average summer temperatures, and compared the numbers of shelters across cities and legislative districts. Interactive maps allow residents to click on an individual city to see statistics for that jurisdiction. — Claudia Bustamante
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