Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Los Angeles revealed a new structure yesterday called ‘La Sombrita’ to provide people with shade and lighting while waiting for the bus. 

According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the shelters were built in response to concerns expressed by female passengers.

Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), the designers behind La Sombrita, said it was designed to establish a “baseline” for what passengers want. 

The structures, which cost around $10,000 each, were installed in four locations in the city. They are solar lights and shade panels that are attached to the already existing bus stop poles. 

According to a Twitter thread from KDI, the purpose of La Sombrita is to provide light and shelter in spaces where building an actual bus stop is not feasible.

The thread also noted that this project “was designed to get to work fast within the current policy landscape.” 

In order to meet the city’s standards, the thread explained, the structures had to be “less than 24 inches wide, maintain 4 ft clearance, be entirely on the pole, be durable and be removable.” 

La Sombrita has faced backlash on social media due to concerns about its cost and efficacy.

"f my bus stop shade/light thing cost $10,000 and provided neither shade during the day nor light at night, I would simply not talk about it," tweeted Alec Stapp, a co-founder of the Institute for Progress.

A Reddit post criticizing the structure garnered over 600 comments. "Like a tree, but worse," said one user.

"They really hauled a big podium and a camera crew just to showcase this," commented another Redditor. "A structure that doesn’t rotate and has holes in it."

City officials praised the structure for improving Los Angeles’ accessibility for all people. 

“Improvements like La Sombrita will make our neighborhoods safer, healthier and more livable,” said Mayor Karen Bass, in a statement. 

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