Just one-quarter of Los Angeles County bus stops have any kind of shade or rain shelter, forcing riders like Ken Willis to seek shelter under whatever shade they can find, the LA Times reports. Only half of bus stops even have seating and, “If you sit on the benches, you just sweat to death,” Willis told the Times, while he waited in 103°F heat for the North Hollywood 152 bus last week — the nearby asphalt was as hot as 130°F.
High temperature records have fallen all over the country this summer, including in Southern California. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is increasing the frequency and severity of heatwaves; the transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S.
The oppressive heat is yet another barrier for those who cannot afford to drive, are unable to, or choose not to drive — made worse by its compounding effect on air pollution, including soot and particulate (PM2.5) pollution that causes the same lung cancer as smoking. (Bus stops: LA Times $; Lung Cancer: The Hill, Axios, CNN, Mic, EuroNews, Newsweek, NY1; Nationwide heat records: Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves)