Some TARC bus stop benches replaced with leaning bars

Some TARC bus stop benches replaced with leaning bars
Benches at two TARC bus shelters have been replaced by these leaning bars. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Benches at several TARC bus stops have been replaced with leaning bars to prevent people from sleeping at the bus stops.

TARC said neighbors and local businesses requested they get rid of the bus shelters altogether because benches were too often being used as beds.

"TARC is committed to embracing all people, with our main concern to provide transportation to the public, and make sure everyone is satisfied with our amenities in the community," TARC Marketing Director Russell Goodwin said. "This was a response to outcry from the community, and this is a compromise to keep a shelter in that area for our customers."

The benches have been replaced at 4th Street and Oak, and Jackson and Broadway.

"I liked it the way it was, but you know, you never know what could happen," TARC rider Brian Royston said. "If they don't want anybody at the bus stops, what they're doing now serves the purpose."

For some, the change brings up a bigger conversation about homelessness.

"The benches are a symptom," resident Alice Wrightbelknep said. "The crux of the problem is helping the person who is suffering."

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The bars meet standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but mayoral candidate Ryan Fenwick worries they'll be uncomfortable for some riders.

"I feel like it's the work of out of touch decision makers who aren't really thinking about what it's like to have to use the system to get around in the city," Fenwick said.

Goodwin said there aren't any plans to install more around the city at this point.

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