Posted: Jul 29, 2014 4:56 PM by Lauren Donovan, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jul 29, 2014 10:19 PM
COLUMBIA - Columbia Transit said Tuesday it will replace the Fast Cat bus service with the new CoMo Connect Red Line Wednesday.
The Fast Cat bus service began running in August 2012. It provided transportation around downtown Columbia and to hospitals and college campuses.
The idea for the new CoMo Connect routes came from a public input meeting last fall. The proposed plan was approved by the Columbia City Council in mid-February.
Teresa White, a marketing specialist with Columbia Public Works, said there was a great deal of community outreach for a better transportation system to both Boone County Hospital and University Hospital.
"It was very easy to implement in that it had great public support from the beginning," said White.
The new system is a network system, as opposed to the previous orbital-pulse system. The new system looks to provide more downtown coverage. White said the current system will be inefficient as Columbia continues to grow.
The Fast Cat has stops at Stephens College and The University of Missouri. CoMo Connect will add Columbia College to its route.
White said the updated Black and Gold Routes, which travel through the heart of the city, will offer higher frequency and travel in both directions. She said the goal is to make neighborhood routes seem smaller. Columbia Public Works said it wants to reduce travel time for customers who want to do day-to-day activities like getting groceries.
"People will have more frequent service in their area," said White.
Columbia resident and frequent Fast Cat user Fred Groves said he did not have much to complain about.
"I don't have any problems with it except on occasion if there is nobody sitting at the bus stop, the driver will drive on through and I will miss the bus. But it's really minor and doesn't happen that often."
The remaining CoMo Connect buses will officially begin running August 2. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be Saturday at 10 a.m. outside the MU Student Center.
For more information on the Red Line's new routes visit ComoConnect.org.