City Prepares New Bus Routes
Despite the downpour Wednesday afternoon, Linda Kelly patiently waits for her bus outside the Wabash Station in Columbia.
Kelly has been relying on the Columbia Transit to take her around the city three to four times a week for 30 years.
But come August, Kelly will able to get to other parts of town much easier. And that’s something that makes her happy.
“I’m glad about the new routes,” Kelly said. “It’s alright adding the new routes. And if they continue the old route with the new ones, they’ll be alright.”
The Columbia City Council approved the bus route changes at its meeting Tuesday night.
Public Works public information officer Jill Stedem said when city planners teamed with transit planners and analyzed current routes, they were able to see which routes were used the most and which weren’t used at all.
She added the new routes were also devised to help make the system run on time more consistently and serve more people.
Currently, the Orange route that runs south on Providence is the route that is causing the most traffic issues, so changes have been made to prevent it in the future.
“The route is going to be shorter. And we’re going to run it when traffic is heavy in one direction, we’ll be running it the opposite direction. So in the morning, it will run a different direction than in the afternoon.”
The Public Works department said the new riders and new advertising on buses should make the new system revenue neutral. To maintain the revenue neutral plan, the department can is unable to extend service hours on week nights and cannot run buses on Sundays.
The new routes will replace the old routes on August 2, so people can familiarize themselves with the change before school starts and seek help if needed.
Due to the heavy construction on the University of Missouri campus, that route won’t be in effect until August 16.
Stedem added that she hopes major revisions to the new system won’t be needed.