Bus Patrons Soon to be Riding in Tiger Pride
COLUMBIA - The city council decided this week the city will paint its buses black and gold to salute the Missouri Tigers. Worries were initially brought up last month that the move to Mizzou colors would make the city a "company town." The new paint job will replace the current blue color on buses the city owns now.
Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl agrees black and gold buses will give Columbia a company town look, but doesn't see it as a bad thing, "We're kinda branding ourselves as the University of Missouri town, which we should." He went on to say he would like to see the whole fleet black and gold, asking, "What would Columbia be without the University of Missouri?"
Columbia College sophomore Alex Collins agrees, but doesn't think it is fair to make all buses tiger-themed. "There's like four other schools here besides Mizzou and we don't really get any recognition." She and her friends decided that a Cougar bus should be next.
Jill Stedem from Columbia Public Works is a Columbia College alumnae. Stedem said she would love to see the Cougar pride as well, but doesn't see that happening any time soon.
None of this is actually happening soon, as the first three tiger striped buses will not arrive until fall of 2011. It will take more than a decade to replace the whole fleet.
The council was presented an estimate that it would cost $600,000 to repaint the original buses, so when it is time for a bus to be retired (roughly after 10 or 12 years) that blue bus will be replaced with the black and gold version.