Columbia Close to Getting New Buses

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COLUMBIA - At the next Columbia city council meeting, members will vote whether to allocate funds to buy six new buses, two new paratransit vans, a security system and improvements to bus shelters throughout the city.

Columbia residents, though, will not see any tax increases because the money to pay for them comes from federal grants. All in all, the grant totals about $2 million.

The new buses do not mean new routes, however. The buses will simply replace the aging buses already in operation.

Brittney Hurley, a frequent public bus rider, is excited about the changes.

"Some of the evening buses are really dingy," she said. "It'll be nice to have something new.

One MU graduate student doesn't believe the changes are enough. He thinks Columbia Transit should improve their customer service.

Mark Singer believes the changes are for the better, but he would also like to see a better busing system for college students.

"I think they should offer free rides to the college students," he said. "It would be much for convenient for everyone."

Public works information officer Jill Stedem says each bus will cost the city around $400,000 and the city will spend approximately $47,000 on fixing the bus shelters.

She says all city buses currently have security systems. The one being purchased from the bonds will act as a backup in case a current system breaks down.

A Columbia Transit survey asks residents their opinions about potential changes to the system.

The survey asks what changes residents would make to Columbia Transit.