The local government in Los Angeles, California, faced online mockery for celebrating a pilot program meant to provide bush shade as a part of its "Gender Equity Action Plan."
The installations are meant to provide shade and light for residents using public transportation, but they were roundly ridiculed by those of various political backgrounds.
"It's official! La Sombrita, our shade and lighting pilot for the @LADOTofficial Gender Equity Action Plan, was unveiled this morning," read a proud tweet from non-profit group Kounkuey Design Initiative.
Spectrum News reported that the bus shades were designed by women to specifically meet the needs of female bus riders.
“At many stops in my neighborhood, there isn’t any area where you feel safe waiting for the bus,” said a bus rider at the unveiling on Thursday. “La Sombrita will make waiting for the bus at night safer and more comfortable during hot days.”
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation said that each of the bus shades would only cost about $10,000 rather than the $50,000 cost of traditional bus shelters. They also have a QR code that residents can use to access a survey to help the transportation dept. help users of bus transit.
The unveiling of one of the four pilot installations was attended by Los Angeles Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.
While city officials patted themselves on the backs for the ambitious project, critics online were far less impressed.
"I don't think i've seen a better example of the withering of state capacity than this, a self congratulatory press conference for spending 200k to fund a non-profit to come up with a bit of sheet metal and a solar powered light that costs 10k a pop," read one popular response.
"RIP to every tax dollar and its opportunity cost that went to this half-constructed Lego contraption," responded commentator Mary Katherine Ham.
"This is a South Park episode come to life," read one popular tweet.
"Translation: Some girlbosses who obviously never rode any LA Metro line found a new way to fleece the City of LA out of thousands," replied BlazeTV host Lauren Chen.
"People were actually paid to study something and come up with this as a result. For shade. For equity and apparently, for gender. Being a consultant or researcher with direct access to the public funding spigot has got to be the biggest grift of them all," responded Danny Rivero, a reporter with WLRN-TV.
"This makes me want to be a libertarian again because of how absurd governments can be. These dips***s actually think they did something worthwhile. They wasted taxpayer money on these joke bus stop poles and patted themselves on the back for some nonsense about gender equity," said another critic.
Some compared it to the embarrassing debacle when San Francisco city officials scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a public bathroom that cost $1.7 million to build and took numerous years to approve. They cancelled the ceremony after being mocked online.
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