Columbia City Buses Experience Record Ridership
In fiscal year 2010, the city served more than 2 million bus riders, up from 650,000 riders in 2006.
"Over the last few months we made a number of changes. In August we made changes to the entire fixed route system," said Jill Stedem, public works spokesperson.
As a result of route extensions and a re-configuration of the orange route, the entire bus system is running on schedule more regularly.
"There are obviously things that happen with traffic congestion that are unavoidable and those things happen that we have to deal with at times," Stedem said. "But it has made a major improvement in the system."
Ridership on the black and gold routes, which primarily serve University of Missouri students, has increased by 59 percent.
"It's a lot more convenient than having to get a parking pass, then struggling with trying to find a place to park on campus and deal with all the street congestion and all the people," said MU student Cody Mims.
Despite the increased ridership, the Public Works Department reported there hasn't been budget surplus due to expenditures associated with the route changes in August.
"We're hoping that with the increased ridership and increased fares, the revenue that we'll gain from fares will help offset that," said Stedem. Transit advertising may also help with the budget. "It's yet to be seen how this fiscal year will turn out, but we did have to make minor changes with our budget," said Stedem.