When the village of Homer began planning to build a bus shelter at 53 Main St., the project was to be completed by the end of the summer. Now, delays are making it unclear whether the shelter will be finished before winter.
“This process started back in May, if not earlier, and it’s been an ongoing process,” said village Deputy Mayor Patrick Clune. “There’s no construction yet — there’s been a hiccup in the ordering portion, which we’re getting smoothed out now.”
The hiccup comes down to who is paying for which parts of the project — Cortland County has the grant funding for the project, but the village wants to add its own touches to the design, Clune said.
“Because of the aesthetics of the village, we wanted to add some decorative ornamentation,” Clune said. “The village will be picking up the cost for that, but the lawyers have to figure out how to do that properly, and that’s where our holdup is right now.”
Located between the Homer Fire Department and the American Legion Post 465 building, the village’s public works department will build the bus shelter using equipment provided by Brasco International Inc. of Michigan. The shelter would cost about $9,700.
This will be paid for by funding the county received from the Federal Transit Administration grant, and the village can spend up to $5,000 of its own budget on additional costs.
“We’re going to have a solar panel on the backside of it to help with lighting and USB charging ports, and we’re adding some fenestrations to make it more aesthetically in line with the rest of the village,” Clune said.
The village will also be in charge of maintaining the shelter.
The village will also work with Access to Independence to make sure the final design is accessible to people with disabilities.
“The worst thing that you could do is put something together and then realize that some people can’t use it,” Clune said. “That’s something we’re very cognizant about and we’re keeping an eye on.”
As the village finalizes its plans, an Access to Independence employee will do a site survey and list any issues to be addressed.
“Universal design goes far beyond looking at basic physical accessibility,” said Alison McCabe, director of community impact for Access to Independence. “For a bus stop, barrier-free boarding zones, landing platforms, and accessible drop-off points are a must, but there are many more factors to consider to ensure that all riders can fully take advantage of transit services.”
Accessibility improvements for people with disabilities benefit everyone who uses public transit, McCabe said.
“They are essential pieces of the transit infrastructure, especially with the weather we face in Central New York,” said county Mobility Manager Melissa Potter.
Cortland Transit’s Route 3 has two other stops nearby — the Elizabeth Brewster House for adult care services and the Ellis Pines senior housing apartments — but neither has a shelter.
“We want riders to have a place to safely wait for public transportation out of the wind, rain, sun and snow,” Potter said.
Clune said the Homer bus shelter will not only act as a beacon for people to find the bus stop, but will also include a display case featuring bus schedules and routes, information on upcoming community events and other resources.
“Another important point is that this will be centrally located within the village,” Clune said. “You’re right next to the Brewster House and the American Legion, then the Center for the Arts is right across the street and basketball courts right behind it, with the green and shops just a short walking distance away.”