Protestors fight to save bus shelters

Rockford Police urged Rockford Mass Transit District to remove shelters in an effort to curb crime in the area.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - On Sept. 15, Rockford Police charged six people with drug related crimes outside the Faust Hotel. They say it’s an on going issue in that area. One solution to the problem included the removal of the bus shelters near the building.

“We shouldn’t be punished for what other people are doing wrong,” said Debbie Foxhoven, who lives in the Faust.

She along with several other protestors, stood outside the hotel Friday morning hoping to save the last bus shelter on the block. Rockford Mass Transit Communications Manager Lisa Brown said they agreed with police about taking down the bus shelters.

“Our understanding is, it wasn’t being used by our passengers anyway,” said Brown. “It was a dangerous situation, and our passengers, quite frankly, didn’t want to use the shelter because of all the activity and discord that was going on there.”

Several residents at the Faust say they need the covered seating for weather protection.

“We need these shelters. We are all handicapped,” said Foxhoven. “We can’t walk three blocks to find a shelter.”

Foxhoven believes RPD needs to find a better solution.

“They’re trying to take our bus shelters because of drug addicts and vagrants. That’s not our problem. That’s the Rockford Police Department’s problem,” said Foxhoven. “They need to do their job.”

Brown said she hopes the removal is temporary.

“We also have revenue ad boxes on one of those shelters. That’s a good visibility place for our advertisers as well,” said Brown. “It’s in our best interest to put the shelters back too.”

The last bus shelter will be down by the end of next week, Brown said. RMTD will continue to work with the Rockford Police to improve safety in the area.

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