Columbia Examines Bus Funding Cut

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COLUMBIA - The Public Transportation Advisory Commission met Monday night at City Hall to discuss how to deal with funding cuts.

The proposed budget for 2012 shows the transit fund would receive a 27 percent decrease in funding. The biggest drop off in money would be in the utilities department. It may have just 35 percent of the funding it had in 2011. Local revenues for the transit fund could also be cut by nearly 60 percent.

One of the ways the transit fund could make up the loss is by increasing fares for riders. The biggest increase though could impact students.

Students could see a $40 increase per semester next year. The city's proposing increasing its rate from $60 to $100. The student pass is for kids who take the bus to locations other than campus.
The semester pass is completely different from the city bus students just take back and forth to class.

"Anyone who relies on public transit should always have a plan B, and that could include a friend or a neighbor that has a car," Columbia resident Ray Shapiro said.

Students aren't the only ones who could be seeing the hit. Regular 30 day fares are proposed to go from $35 to $55.