"Don't Throw Me Under the Bus"
COLUMBIA - The Columbia bus system is often criticized on a number of accounts, so KOMU 8 News wanted to talk to riders and find out where they go, and how frequently the bus runs. The real question to be answered was, is the system reliable enough that citizens can ride the bus to and from work if they don't own a car?
Columbia resident Preston Potter has a steady job, but it doesn't pay enough to buy a car. He said, "I make fun of the bus sytem but I would definitely like to have my own vehicle." Potter instead pays $55 every month to ride the bus home.
Other riders like Jonathon Wayne Smith said, "could you get a job by riding the bus? Yes, if you think ahead of time." Passenger Arreya Bonds agreed, "if I wanted to take the bus to work, I would get there 45 minutes early, or a half hour late." In other words, the buses need to make more frequent rounds to transport passengers in a timely fashion.
About 8,000 passengers ride the bus daily, more than 70% of them are students. There are more than 400 bus stops on the city route. You can get from one side of Columbia to the other in 30-45 minutes, give or take a few each way depending on your exact location. The cost is $1.50.
Rider Jai Peters, who owns a car, thinks public transportation is easily accessible for most residents. "There's a way to and from work, there's no excuse and there are plenty of jobs in the paper." Arreya Bonds, who doesn't own a car, would still favor the public system. She said, "I don't have a car. But if I did, 3 to 6 bucks a day to get here and back home is way cheaper than gas."