The city of Ravenna is reconsidering its decision to remove two downtown bus shelters after hearing from patrons who used them and now have to wait for transportation without a place to sit or respite from the weather.
The Portage Area Regional Transporation Authority, which has bus stops in front of the courthouse, will work with the city to identify different types of shelters than those that were removed because of concerns about loitering. The replacement shelters would enable those waiting for buses to be protected from the elements but would have less inviting seating areas.
That sounds like a reasonable solution, and a far better one than the city's initial response -- which was to remove the shelters and let people stand at the bus stops without any apparent concern for the elderly, disabled and others who ride buses and may find it a challenge to stand while they wait.
The shelters, which were located directly on Main Street in front of the courthouse and across the street from it, were erected more than 20 years ago as part of the Streetscape program. They were owned by the city, which removed them within days of receiving complaints about them.
Those who ride the buses shared their views with Ravenna City Council this week, urging the restoration of the shelters and voicing concerns that the removal of the shelters was an unduly punitive action in response to the behavior by a relative handful. The points they shared were valid ones.
People who ride buses are not "undesirables" -- the ugly term that was used by some to describe those who utilized the shelters for prolonged periods. They are, in many instances, elderly or disabled people or those who cannot afford private transportation. To imply that they are somehow less deserving of shelter and a place to rest while waiting for a ride is insulting.
We hope that the city and PARTA can work together expeditiously on installing new shelters. Waiting for a bus can be a challenge when the weather turns colder and rain and snow are falling.