London bus shelters have been the recent target of vandalism, causing upwards of $115,000 in damage in the past week.
The London Transit Commission is reporting that in the last few days, the glass has been shattered in at least 28 bus shelters, with some targeted more than once after the glass was replaced.
General manager of London Transit Kelly Paleczny said each pane of glass costs $700, with each shelter having five, which means when all are broken, it costs $3,500 per shelter to replace.
She estimates the current damage so far adds up to upwards of $115,000.
“We have advised our shelter contractor to clean up the glass but to not replace it in any broken shelters in hopes someone from the public knows something and will reach out to police,” she said.
London Transit has a contract with a shelter provider in charge of maintaining all of the shelters. Although there is no immediate cost to the LTC, Paleczny said when it comes time to renew their contract, the provider will likely try to recoup the lost money.
The impact of the vandalism won’t just be felt by the LTC but riders as well, she said.
“You think about this morning where it was a torrential downpour when people were waiting for buses, and at 28 of our shelters, they would have been standing there without glass,” Paleczny said.
Councillor for Ward 2 Shawn Lewis said on Facebook that he was angry about the vandalism, most of which happened in his ward. He is calling on the public to help catch the person or people responsible.
“Someone is going around in an organized way to destroy these things, and it makes life more miserable for transit riders who have to stand in the rain or the dark,” he said.
Lewis said if the LTC has to keep worrying about replacing the glass in the old shelters, they will not be able to build any new ones.
He and the LTC are asking anyone with information about the incidents to come forward and report it to London police.
Lewis is also asking anyone with a security camera near one of the destroyed shelters to see if they caught anything on film.
“Shelters are there for our riders, and someone is talking that away,” Paleczny.