City offers free bus rides Thursday

Monday, May 5, 2008 | 6:47 p.m. CDT; updated 7:22 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — For one day, the public can take city buses — free of charge — anywhere the buses go.

“Try Transit Day,” which will be held Thursday, is aimed at encouraging Columbia residents who have never used the city’s public transportation to try it.

“The spike in gas prices is causing many people to look for ways to beat the high cost,” said Ken Koopmans, transportation manager for Columbia, in a news release. “Trying Columbia Transit is one of the things we want people to consider when looking for an alternative mode of transportation.”

Jill Stedem of the Columbia Public Works department said there has been an 18 percent increase in transit use over the last two years.

“We can’t specifically attribute it to higher gas prices,” Stedem said. “But we can only assume it’s related.”

Columbia buses are equipped with either a wheelchair lift or ramp as well as bicycle racks to let residents combine biking and public transit.

The normal fare for Columbia Transit is 50 cents for an adult and 25 cents for students, seniors, Medicaid recipients and those who are certified handicapped.

For more information or to view the bus map and schedules, go to or call 874-7282.

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