They’re called Soofa benches, and they’re $4,000 a piece.
The City of Edmonton has recently decided to purchase a couple of solar-powered phone charges in Edmonton called ‘Soofa Benches’. One of them is located in Churchill Square, the other in Muttart Conservatory’s courtyard.
Edmonton is the first city in Canada to install Soofa benches. The benches can be found in 12 US states and 5 countries globally.
Here’s the Soofa Bench promo video:
Unfortunately, here’s the downside of this whole idea:
The solar-powered phone charging benches consist of only two charging ports, and that’s not the worst of it. Believe it or not, you are unable to charge your phone unless you actually have a charging cable on your person.
That’s right, these $4,000 charging benches were designed only for those that actually carry around a charging cord with them in their pockets wherever they go.
Why couldn’t these charging bays be created for, say, $400? What constitutes paying $4,000 for two charging ports and a solar-panel?
Why couldn’t we just use an electrical socket on the exterior of nearby buildings and simply install $20 charging ports?
Sadly. I do not have the answer to these questions. These are questions that would have to be directed towards Edmonton’s city council.
What about potential vandalism?
Has the city of Edmonton put any thought into the potential vandalism that’ll occur to these $4,000 benches?
Not only are the solar-panels in direct-visibility, which themselves can easily be damaged, but the two charging ports themselves can be damaged in the blink of an eye.
As you’ve probably already figured out by this point, I am personally entirely against these Soofa benches due solely on the cost per unit and the potential vandalism that will occur in due time.
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Dear Edmonton city council:
I’m sorry if these opinions sound a bit inconsiderate or insensitive, but the views found on this website are solely my own, and I truly feel that we’ve paid far too much for these charging benches. Why don’t we ask Edmontonians what they want, instead of making choices such as this one behind closed doors?
This article was written by Jody Mitoma.