A high-tech bus shelter under construction on Lantzville Road. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Canada’s nicest bus shelter coming to Vancouver Island?

Volunteer-driven project will have phone chargers, lights, art, digital photo gallery and more

A high-tech bus shelter is closer to serving transit riders in the District of Lantzville.

Construction is well underway on a brand new bus shelter at 7217 Lantzville Rd., located out front of Riso Restaurant.

Once completed, the shelter will have a library exchange shelf, a clock and a digital photo display showcasing historical photos. It will also be solar powered, have interior lighting and the ability to recharge mobile devices. Two posts adorned with Coast Salish artwork from a Snaw-Naw-As artist will also be installed at the shelter.

Lantzville Coun. Ian Savage, who spearheaded the bus shelter project last year, said construction began earlier this year and everything is moving along “fabulously.”

“We are just putting the finishing touches on getting it winterized,” he said. “The electronics will be going in over Christmas.”

Councillors last year agreed to pay 50 per cent of the cost of the bus shelter in the event that Savage, who was not a councillor at the time, and a group of five volunteers could not raise enough money for the bus shelter project.

However, Savage said since last November more than $5,000 in cash and approximately $3,000 worth of materials have been donated, adding that the district is contributing $3,000 toward the project. He said the Lantzville Rotary Club has become a partner in the project, handling donations so that tax receipts can be issued to those who donate.

Savage said numerous people and business from the community have either donated time, building supplies or money to the project, including Dan Fell of Sorensen Trilogy Engineering, who helped design the shelter and waived the all fees associated with his work.

“It’s been wonderful, all sorts of residents have pitched in,” Savage said.

RELATED: High-tech bus shelter pitched for Lantzville

Savage said he believes the shelter will be one of the most innovative bus shelters in all of Canada once it’s completed. He said he wanted to get the community involved in the project because he believes in the idea of “place making.”

“What [place making] means is that the more you involve other residents the more they feel invested in their community and the prouder they are and the more loyal they will be to their community in terms of shopping and so on,” he said. “There have been people that you don’t often hear from who have contributed. It’s been terrific.”

Benches, electronic equipment, solar panels and a bookcase will be installed in the shelter by Christmas time according to Savage, who said landscaping and other work still needs to be done as well. He said he’s also looking for residents to send him old photos of Lantzville for the shelter’s digital slideshow.

“One resident kindly sent me a bunch of old pictures of Lantzville, they’re just beautiful pictures of the old farms and life in the 1970s,” he said. “We’ll be adding more over time.”

Savage said the shelter will be ready early next year.

“I am looking at probably February as the grand opening date but the weather will have to warm up a bit,” Savage said.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
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