City of Lake Charles bus stops get upgrades

Updated: Nov. 20, 2019 at 10:15 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - There are 245 bus stops along 5 fixed routes in Lake Charles, but only 53 of them are covered according to the city.

Mayor Nic Hunter says that’s a number they are hoping to change over the next few months.

At their Wednesday night meeting, the Lake Charles City Council voted 6-for to appoint District F’s Johnnie Thibodeaux as chairman to review bids to purchase 40 transit shelters with benches for the city. Councilman Mark Eckard was not at the meeting.

“Typically we do about 10 a year, but thanks to that supplemental package this year, we are doing 40,” Mayor Nic Hunter said. “That’s going to be great for those who use our city bus routes and to get out of inclement weather when they are waiting on the bus to arrive. I think it’s a really great thing for our city.”

Infrastructure is going to be a big focus for the city this fiscal year according to Hunter.

A $5 million supplemental package was passed in July by the city strictly for infrastructure. Almost $300,000 of that money is going towards bus shelters and benches that will be put in place this fiscal year according to the city.

Hunter says the city gets many calls from residents asking about bus shelters.

“And rightfully so,” Hunter said. “A lot of people, when they are waiting for the bus stop, if it’s raining, if it’s 100 degrees outside, a lot of those things impact our citizens. So this is just another way we are trying to improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

At some of those locations, like the bus stop on the east side of 2nd Avenue and 3rd Street, concrete has already been poured in preparation.

Hunter says they have been working with transit to figure out where the bus shelters should be placed across the city, like Oak Park Boulevard and 4th Avenue or 18th at Ernest.

“These bus stops are in high traffic areas, but they are spread out throughout the entire city of Lake Charles," Hunter said. “This is truly going to be a city-wide effort.”

After the bid is accepted at an upcoming City Council meeting, the shelters will be ordered and put in place after January 1, 2020.

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