Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (R-Saipan) suggests that all bus shelters in the CNMI should have one design that is typhoon-resilient, especially with the Commonwealth being frequented by storms.
Several of these structures were destroyed when two storms struck the islands last year.
Quitugua said there’s always an issue about bus shelters, especially when it comes to who is responsible for maintaining them.
“Is [Department of Public Lands] the authority to designate a portion of the land or is it [the Department of Public Works]?” he asked. “The Public School System designates the bus stops and the route. But, when it comes to building the bus shelters, sometimes the private sector comes in. DPW should come out with a uniform design—a design that would be safe and would keep students safe.”
Qutituga, along with Sens. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan) and Vinnie F. Sablan (Ind-Saipan), suggested in last week’s Senate Public Utilities, Transportation, and Communications Committee meeting that the bus stops should be strong enough to withstand typhoons.
Quitugua cited two bus shelters in the north—one in Tanapag, and one in As Teo. “Many typhoons came and they are still standing.”
He pointed out that DPW already has a blueprint for bus shelters. “The design is important since we will be saving money for repairs and other stuff. So, we can move with that same blueprint and we can work it to the other precincts,” said Quitugua.
Sablan, who is the PUTC chairman, said some bus stops are too small. “Sometimes, the kids in different villages can be found around the bus shelter. When it is raining, it gets crowded, with everyone already inside.”
“These are some of the concerns. A uniform design will be beneficial to all the kids that are using the bus shelters,” he added.
Igisomar said that some of the light materials used in building bus shelters are potential hazards. “Maybe there is also the potential hazard for these bus shelters. Those poles are potentially hazardous and we must be sure that these poles are not being sat on.”