French Valley is the beneficiary of a drive to install solar-powered lights that enhance visibility at bus stops around Riverside County, officials said today.
The has lately installed 23 of the posts that are crowned with a solar panel powering a light-emitting diode, commonly known as an LED.
The new solar powered panels bring to 50 the number of such safety installations around the county, including in Lake Elsinore and French Valley.
In the rural areas, residents will have better visibility in the early morning and at night, according to a statement released by the RTA.
And they will feel safer, waiting in the dark for buses that pass through less urban and populated areas.
The solar panels use sunlight to create power for batteries, which in turn power the LEDs.
Bus drivers will be better able to see the stops, as will motorists who might drift close to the sidewalks.
The LEDs will emit soft lights around the stops but can be brightened temporarily, according to the RTA.
“Customers can also push a button on the post to temporarily brighten the light around the stop for an enhanced sense of security, and easier reading of route map and schedules,” the statement reads.
“The result is a better travel experience for our valued customers,” RTA Board Chairman Bob Buster said.
The capital improvement project was funded by stimulus money linked to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and distributed to RTA by the state Department of Transportation, according to the statement released Wednesday.
The volatile economy has seen ridership increase two percent this year over last year, to 8.1 million boardings, the statement reads.
Aside from increasing gas prices and more students riding the buses, the increased efficiency has led to the rider increase, the stateme