Residents review proposed changes to Columbia bus system

Thursday, June 24, 2010 | 11:18 p.m. CDT; updated 11:01 a.m. CDT, Friday, June 25, 2010

COLUMBIA — Residents were generally in favor of the proposed bus route changes during the Public Transportation Advisory Commission’s meeting Thursday evening. 

About 10 residents attended the meeting to share their opinions on the changes that have been proposed in order to improve the route timing and expand the service to uncovered areas. According to a previous Missourian article, the growing community has made the timing difficult to maintain.  

“With regards to the changes, I’m very supportive,” PedNet Coalition Director Ian Thomas said.

He added that he appreciates the proposed route changes that cover much larger areas in the town.

Resident Dianna O’Brien said the Columbia bus system has improved since 1992, but she suggested it could be better if there were more frequent buses running.

A couple of residents said they sometimes have a hard time being able to tell where buses stop because the map has certain routes that list side streets instead of main streets.  

In response to the map concern, the commission agreed the map should identify more streets.

“The current map is hard to read because you have the weekday on one side with the schedule, you have a weekend on the other side with the schedule,” said Dale Lynn of the Columbia Para Transit. “The new map will have the big city map, which should be very legible with the streets identified, and then on the back side of the map, we will have schedules.”

The commission’s chairperson, Pat Fowler, said the commission is separately going to vote about whether it will write a letter to the City Council regarding the route changes and incorporate some comments from the residents.

Besides reviewing the maps, the commission said they hope to run buses more frequently, expand bus coverage and extend hours.

Thursday night's meeting was held to allow interested residents who rely on the buses to vocalize their opinions. Buses stop running at 6:25 p.m. Mondays, whereas they run until 10:25 p.m. Thursdays.

The City Council plans to hold a public hearing about the changes to the routes and maps July 6.

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