Columbia Mayor Details FastCAT to Commission

6 years 6 days 20 hours ago Wednesday, June 13 2012 Jun 13, 2012 Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:57:00 PM CDT June 13, 2012 in News
By: Zheng Hwuang Chia
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COLUMBIA - Mayor Bob McDavid gave specific details about the new "FastCAT" transit proposal Wednesday to the Public Transportation Advisory Commission. The new bus route specifically targets college students.

McDavid said he wants to increase demand from students in order to play catch-up with other college town's public transportation models, such as Ames Ia., Iowa City Ia. and Champaign, Il..

McDavid is confident in the plan because of Downtown Brookside Apartment's agreement to hop on board.

"They've agreeed to cancel their downtown bus route and pay $10,000 for FastCAT promotions."

Downtown Brookside will also purchase bus passes from the City for those living in the apartments.

McDavid said the current transit system is operating at a $1.5 million deficit and significant changes need to be made to improve efficiency.

The proposed FastCAT system would:

* Consist of a 30-minute loop from campus to heavy student residential areas
* Use two to three buses on the route
* Include GPS-enabled buses with mobile phone applications to display schedules and estimated times of arrival
* Have extended hours until later in the evening than the current system runs

The proposed prices for rides are:

* $100 per semester for an individual pass
* $75 per semester per rider for groups up to 30 riders
* $62.50 per semester per rider for groups of 31-1000 riders
* $50 per semester per rider for groups larger than 1000

McDavid set the one-year revenue goal at $300,000 and said he believes the new system will reduce congestion downtown and reduce car traffic.

The proposal will be reviewed on Monday. If the proposal goes through, McDavid said the biggest challenge will be to come up with a whole new bus route in two months time, before the students get back to school.

 

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