Council Members Board Buses to Hear from Riders

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COLUMBIA - City council members Barbara Hoppe and Fred Schmidt boarded city buses Thursday afternoon to hear from riders about proposed changes to public transit.

City Manager Mike Matthes' proposal would increase regular bus fares from $1 to $1.50 It would also raise rates for disabled riders, the elderly, students and medicare recipients. Additionally, half-fare tickets would be eliminated for low income riders, students, medicaid recipients and children under 5. Services would also be cut, including Thursday, Friday, and Saturday routes that run after 6:25 p.m. and football shuttles.

Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said without changes, the public transit system will run out of money by June of 2012. 

Schmidt and Hoppe rode buses Thursday to hear from residents prior to Monday's city council meeting in which they are expected to vote on the proposal.

A public hearing is scheduled on the issue for Monday at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of city call.