When Davonta Jordan used to leave his shift at Steak ‘n Shake, his phone was always low on power.
About a month ago, Jordan, 21, started using a solar charging station at the Butler Plaza bus stop during his commute. The station is one of 10 installed by the city as part of a six-month pilot program with solar panel design company Pure Energy Solar, wrote Lynn Janoski, the marketing director, in an email.
The smart charger stations, which are standing tables with outlets and USB charging ports underneath a solar panel, were added within the past two months to Depot Park, Possum Creek Park, Fred Cone Park, Westside Recreation Center, Butler Plaza, Rosa Parks Regional Transit System downtown station, the Helyx Bridge, Gainesville City Hall and the Dwight H. Hunter Pool, Janoski said.
The Sixth Street bus stop has a solar bench, she said.
“When (the stations) were being installed people came up to us to let us know how excited they were to have them to charge cellphones,” Janoski said.
The smart charger stations start at $3,895, and the solar bench costs $10,000, according to Pure Energy’s website.
Chip Skinner, a city spokesperson, said after the trial ends, the city may buy the stations for a discounted price.
“I’m sure that (the stations are) very popular among residents and visitors and those that use public transportation because I see people using them all the time,” Skinner said.