Bus Ridership Surges
Public works officials say ridership has increased nearly 30 percent since 2003, and they hope renovating the bus depot will keep the number growing.
Buses are still rolling, even with the bus depot under construction.
"This year we've seen a real good increase in ridership over all the routes, over the whole system," said public works supervisor Mark Grindstaff. "Year to date, we're running about 18 percent over what we were this time last year."
And Darlene Morris is just one of a growing number of riders on the transit system.
"I don't drive and that's the one way I have to use to get around and it's cheaper than paying for taxis all the time," Morris said.
Transportation may be more affordable, but with new renovations, transportation could become more convenient and user friendly.
"We're gonna have a canopy that individuals can get off the bus, transfer buses, get into the Wabash Depot all out of the weather through the canopy system. We're gonna have a much better waiting area, much improved restroom facilities, those types of things to make it a better atmosphere and better customer friendly," Grindstaff said.
New renovations could be the key to new riders. Renovations and additions to the depot are still being made. Columbia transportation officials say renovations should be completed by the end of July.