By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Supervisors direct MOU with NCTD and MTS on bus shelters


Last updated 11/7/2019 at 7:44am

North County Transit District and Metropolitan Transit Service buses use county-maintained roads for some of their routes, and bus stop benches and shelters are also within county right of way. A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote Oct. 29 directed county staff to enter a Memorandum of Understanding with NCTD and MTS to update the county policy regarding transit benches and shelters within county right of way.

Board of Supervisors Policy J-31 addresses the placement of transit benches and shelters in county right of way. The policy includes requirements that the county's Department of Public Works consider any community planning group of community sponsor group recommendation before issuing an encroachment permit for the bench or shelter and that the applicant obtain written responses from the community advisory group. The design must conform with DPW and adopted community standards and guidelines, and any advertising must comply with the restrictions in Policy J-31.

The current MTS administration expressed concern with the requirement to obtain written responses from community planning groups. The supervisors' Oct. 29 action included waiving Policy J-31 to allow the Memorandum of Understanding to include conflicting provisions, although MTS as well as NCTD will still be required to notify the appropriate planning group and design review board before the installation of any new facilities.

"I think this is a really good effort," Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

The advertising restrictions of Policy J-31 limit a bus shelter to two signs and limit bus shelter advertisements to 6 feet in height and 4 feet in width. Bus bench advertisements are limited to 2 feet in height and 4 feet in width. If a private community organization provides a non-advertising transit bench at an authorized transit stop the county can prohibit advertising on that permitted bench. Policy J-31 also includes location, design, agency identification and insurance requirements.

Board policies are subject to periodic sunset review to determine if the policy should be maintained, modified or eliminated. Policy J-31 will be reviewed for potential updates before Dec. 31, 2020.


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