COLUMBIA — Delays, overcrowding and limited service areas are a few of the problems plaguing Columbia’s transit system.
Meanwhile, more people are using city buses; over the past five years, the total number of rides has more than doubled, according to city statistics.
In December, the city established a nine-member commission to assess these and other transportation issues. The Public Transportation Advisory Commission — which includes representatives from MU and the city’s Disabilities and Bicycle and Pedestrian commissions — was designed as a proactive measure to monitor and address future problems.
With the commission’s input, city leaders have proposed a number of route changes, extensions and additions that could be enacted this fall to address concerns with the bus system.
Public Works Director John Glascock discussed the redesign at the City Council's weekend retreat. More information about the changes can be found on the department's website. A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. July 6 at City Hall, 701 E. Broadway.
The current proposals — including a $67,000 new route — are primarily focused on giving Columbia residents better access to jobs, Glascock said in a previous Missourian article. The redesign would include service to the future site of IBM on LeMone Industrial Boulevard because of the deal the company has with the city that requires bus service to the area.
However, buses are just one component of local transportation. Columbia's continued growth to points increasingly farther from the system’s downtown hub necessitates the expansion of its transit system.
Are additional bus routes a sufficient response to Columbia's growing transportation needs?