Columbia city council votes to add 18 new bus shelters

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COLUMBIA - Starting next year you can expect to see unique, new bus shelters springing up across the city.

The Columbia City Council approved the installation of 18 new COMO Connect bus shelters Monday evening.

According to the Columbia Public Works Department, these new shelters are being funded by seperate grants, totalling $570,000. Each shelter costs $11,000. 

Construction for the new shelters will begin in Janurary of 2016.

According to Ian Thomas, Columbia's 4th ward council member, the new shelters will assist with social equity in the city.

"People are waiting for busses out in hot weather, and in rain, and in cold weather," Thomas said. "The shelters give shelter from that, as well as a place to sit." 

All of the new shelters will be lit with LED lights and will also be ADA accessible. In addition they will have artwork on the front of the shelters, with hopes to prevent graffiti.

Dan Cullimore, the president of the board of directors for the north-central Columbia neighborhood association, was a proponent for the new bus shelters. He said these new shelters will benefit COMO Connect.

"Having bus shelters sided at connection points on highly used routes makes a whole lot of sense for improving ridership," Cullimore said.

Some of the concerns with building the bus shelters included building on resident property.

The Columbia Public Works Department hopes to expand the number of these new bus shelters in the coming years.