Virginia Tech took a step toward becoming more sustainable with the addition of the first solar powered bus shelter located in front of Torgerson Hall.
The university partnered with Blacksburg Transit to provide the shelter on campus.
“Blacksburg Transit knows that Virginia Tech is very interested in sustainability initiatives, so the shelter over at Torgerson presented this opportunity to try out a new technology,” said Debby Freed, alternative transportation manager for Tech.
The location was chosen for the solar shelter because the sidewalk it sits on covers a steam tunnel, which means that no electricity could be run to the shelter previously.
“The folks over at Blacksburg Transit who are very innovative and forward thinking came up with a wonderful chance for us to add a light and try out solar power for the shelter,” Freed noted.
Standing twelve feet tall, the shelter allows students to sit in a dry, lit area to wait for the bus.
Electricity will be generated in the solar bar by sunlight every day, and used and stored for nighttime as well as reserved for cloudy weather.
“Right now, we are testing it out and we hope it does very well. There is so much going on in the next few years that will change the way transit operates on campus, which is for the better,” Freed said.
Blacksburg Transit will use this initial shelter as an indicator of if more solar powered shelters would be helpful on campus.
“I think we need to wait and do a little more research into where the shelters should go and the way transit operates on campus before we can make a decision about getting more,” she said.