Commission pushes back against proposed public transit cuts

1 month 4 days 2 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
By: Hannah Thomas, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Public Transit Advisory Commission (PTAC) is pushing back over proposed budget cuts to the city's public transit system.

PTAC members are writing a letter to the city council urging them to reconsider the proposed budget cuts to the transit system.

In late July, City Manager Mike Matthes outlined the budget for fiscal year 2019. Matthes proposed several cuts to the transit system, including cutting the budget for the transit system by $300,000.

Matthes also proposed increasing the cost of ParaTransit rides from $2 to $3, along with reducing the areas the buses serve, eliminating the last bus route after 7 p.m. on weekdays and ending the Saturday and special events service by June 1, 2019.
The ParaTransit service is for residents who are wheelchair bound. Increasing ParaTransit fees by the $1 would generate about $54,000 for the city.
PTAC members are against the Matthes' proposed cuts and argue the small increase in ParaTransit fees can add up quickly for people with disabilities, especially if they are unemployed. 
Some city council members are concerned with the potential cuts, too. In a recent newsletter to constituents, Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas wrote, “Even with the deep cuts proposed [city funds are] expected to run out of cash in 2023, unless we are able to start collecting sales tax on Internet purchases or a new revenue source is found.”
The city’s transit consultant, Olsson Associates, recently recommended a plan to increase use of the most popular Black and Gold routes, and to replace some of the neighborhood routes with a flex system.
In a flex system, some residential areas would not have a bus driving in a loop to pick up passengers. Instead, customers could request a Go COMO shuttle to pick them up and take them to a location.
In the letter, commission members want to remind city officials that public transit helps Columbia in its efforts to be a green community. 
KOMU 8 News also talked to some frequent bus riders about the potential cuts. 
Roger Winters said the changes would hurt his daily commute severely.
"I use the buses to get to work, and if I can't do that it would be devastating."
Amanda Paz Herrera, a graduate student at the University of Missouri, says the public transit system is especially important to people who rely on a cheap method of transportation.
"If needed, I would not mind paying higher fees for the buses versus paying way more for Ubers and taxis."
She also says she wants more communication from city officials.
"I think communication is really important. If there are going to be changes, we need to be able to prepare for these changes."
The commission will submit its revised letter to the city council in the September 10 meeting.
City officials have six more weeks to finalize the budget.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A pharmaceutical company has plans to come to Columbia, but is seeking a Chapter 100 Bond from the... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Organizations and activists aimed at improving the poverty situation in the state will gather for the 2018 Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 20 2018 Sep 20, 2018 Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:24:00 AM CDT September 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After being inactive for nearly a year, the Missouri Board of Education is launching a search for... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 7:06:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, is changing the way she is fundraising after an ethics complaint and... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:17:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department was on the scene of a double shooting Wednesday afternoon. Police... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:00:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Some people living in Columbia's southside neighborhoods say thieves, using creative technology, are stealing from cars. Haley... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As Welcome Home marks the first anniversary of its new shelter, a once drug-addicted veteran is artfully finding... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:19:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
FULTON- After the State Auditor's report that more local money could go to domestic violence shelters, one survivor reiterated the... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Wednesday morning firefighters burned a simulated dorm room burn on the MU campus to show students how quickly... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 3:13:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY – Cole County ended its economic development contract with the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. The... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Sen. Claire McCaskill has announced she will oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. McCaskill's... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former prosecutor and chairman of Missouri's Democratic Party has been sentenced to two years and... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:55:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department ruled a Wednesday morning fire as suspicious. There were no injuries, but the... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - As rivers are still rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, donations are also flooding in. However,... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:01:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A Kansas City man has pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of another man at a trailer... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 12:51:00 PM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The search for Missouri's next top education official has begun. The State Board of Education... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:24:10 AM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
FULTON - UPDATE: Police have found the two boys who escaped from the Division of Youth Services. Police said... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 10:38:00 AM CDT September 19, 2018 in Top Stories
HOWARD COUNTY - Two people are dead and two others injured after a crash on Highway 87 Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, September 19 2018 Sep 19, 2018 Wednesday, September 19, 2018 9:51:00 AM CDT September 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
9am 81°
10am 85°
11am 88°
12pm 91°