In Christchurch, Ratepayers have stumped up $18,000 for a solar-powered bus shelter that can charge electronic devices.
The prototype costs almost $10,000 more than a traditional bus shelter in Christchurch.
It has courted criticism on social media where people have questioned whether it will be targeted by vandals like many stops around the city.
The Christchurch City Council installed the locally designed and built solar-powered shelter, said to be the first of its kind in New Zealand, in response to a plan highlighting the need to improve the waiting experience for bus passengers.
Solar panels installed in the roof of the shelter power lights and USB points where passengers can charge cellphones and tablets.
The shelter “will provide an improved covered waiting space for bus passengers”.
Council urban design and regeneration unit manager Carolyn Ingles said the bus shelter cost $18,000 with money taken from the transitional city projects suburban centres budget.
The budget implements transitional projects to assist with the revitalisation and rebuild of severely earthquake-damaged areas.
Accoring to the council, traditional bus shelter in Christchurch can cost up to $8600 to purchase and install.
Ingles said perspex would be used on the back of the shelter so it could not be smashed with a hammer.
“While vandalism is a possibility, by adding the charging feature we expect that the community will see this as a useful addition to Linwood,” she said.
Ingles said the council would review public feedback and use of the shelter before considering building more.
“Depending on public feedback, others could be placed in appropriate areas around the city. A decision on whether any more are installed will be made later in part based on the results of this trial,” she said.
“This shelter tests a new idea â€“ it provides seating, lighting and protection from the elements, all of which improve the bus waiting experience and safety levels, and on top of that the shelter uses renewable energy sources.”
Originally from Stuff – The Press