Columbia enacts route changes to bus system
COLUMBIA – As the work week begins, Columbia residents who ride the bus may notice changes in the schedule.
New bus routes for the city’s Go COMO service went into effect Monday as part of the 2018 budget passed by Columbia City Council.
The changes remove two routes, the Pink and Dark Green routes, from the bus system and merge four others that alternate throughout the day.
Columbia Transit and Parking Manager Drew Brooks said the cuts are a result of the city trying to cut its transit budget by half a million dollars.
The city spent about a year and a half with consulting firm Olsson Associates to determine the efficiency of its bus service.
"We really wanted to try and make these decisions as data-driven as we possibly could," Brooks said. "We do know that every one of those data points, every one of those riders is a person that's impacted by it, but we felt this was the best way to go about it to look at the lowest ridership routes to be impacted."
Brooks said many of the system's drivers work overtime hour shifts and the cuts are a way to diminish their staffing issues.
"Having to train fewer drivers and have fewer drivers on the payroll will hopefully help with that situation," Brooks said.
Here is a list of all changes made to the Go COMO system:
- Removal of #6 Pink Route – The route will be replaced with a limited Flex Route in certain parts of the Pink Route’s coverage from 7-8 a.m. and 4-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Customers must call 573-874-7524 at least 24 hours in advance to book a ride. That bus will take customers to one of three stops on the Gold or Blue routes where they can access the rest of the system.
- Removal of #7 Dark Green Route – Parts of this route will now be covered by the #1 Black Route and the #8 Light Green Route.
- #3 Brown Route and #4 Orange Route will alternate – One bus will cover both routes, changing at a mutual transfer point. These routes will run about half the time they previously did.
- #8 Light Green Route and #9 Purple Route will alternate – One bus will cover both routes, changing at a mutual transfer point. These routes will run about half the time they previously did.
- #11 Aqua Route becomes an extension of the #3 Brown Route
- #5 Blue Route will travel to Battle High School twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon