Ask 13: Question helps fast track bus shelters for veterans

Veterans now have shelter when waiting to catch a bus outside the ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters on Tunnel Road. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Cold, rainy, winter days at an unprotected bus shelter is no fun. But that's what veterans had to endure for years outside the ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters on Tunnel Road.

Now, that's changed, thanks to a question to Ask 13.

Veterans were often braving the elements to catch a bus for work or school, and that disheartened a News 13 viewer.

Ed Chamberlin, of Swannanoa, was concerned enough to write Ask 13.

"There are many bus shelters throughout Buncombe County, but nothing at the Veterans Quarters in Oteen," he wrote.

In December, News 13 met several veterans who were standing in the cold waiting for a bus. The stop just outside the VRQ had no shelter on either side of the road.

City and VRQ officials said there had been talks about a shelter, but the $20,000 cost was an issue. After the story aired, there were more talks, which led to two new bus shelters. They were completed last week and a welcome sight as winter approaches.

"It was a real bad need for it because a lot of individuals don't have cars and they have to sit out here and wait on buses," veteran Joseph Parks said. "Maybe there's a hold up or something, the weather's getting bad, and no one wants to stand out in rain or snow."

Our thanks to the city for moving the VRQ stop up on its list of locations for new shelters. It is certainly appreciated by all the veterans, and its opening was perfect -- completed just days before Veterans Day. Our thanks, as well, to Ed Chamberlin for bringing this question to our attention.

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