The city of Columbia plans to begin its new configuration of bus routes on August 4. The expansion to the public transit system has the city looking into the possibility of adding new sustainable bus shelters along the new routes.
Designs for the new bus shelters began in January, when students in the MU architecture studies department were given the task of designing a bus shelter that would allow for the use of recycled materials like aluminum and steel that could be purchased locally. The shelters also had to be vandal resistant, accessible to the disabled, and allow for the display of public art.
Seven designs have been presented to the public and city committees since Earth Day.
Project Coordinator Lisa Goldschmidt said there are benefits to making the new shelters sustainable.
"They cost less. We like the idea that they're from local companies or that they're easily recyclable. That's a really good thing to have and if they ever do need to be torn down they're not going to be a burden on the environment. They'll be able to be repurposed in some way," said Goldschmidt.
The designs were presented to the Environment and Energy Commission during their meeting Tuesday. Goldschmidt presented the designs and answered any questions the commission had.
Environment and Energy Commission member Ken Midkiff said he had some concerns about the designs.
"The gap at the bottom on all of the shelters, in June, July and August, fine you know. But in January, February, and March, it would let cold air in and the shelter would be a very uncomfortable place," said Midkiff.
Some residents have expressed concerns over vertical bike storage. Goldschmidt said the concerns have been minor and that designs could be modified once the final designs have been selected.
Goldschmidt said that the response from the public has been positive.
A final public input meeting is planned from, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in the Family Impact Center on Ash Street. Public input on the project is taking place until the end of June.