COLUMBIA — It seems as though tailgaters won't be the only ones driving around with tiger tails.
The Columbia City Council is considering three new public bus designs that sport black-and-gold colors, as well as painted tiger eyes and striped tails. The designs were provided by MU.
Mayor Bob McDavid proposed at the Council meeting on Oct. 18 to color the buses black and gold in support of MU, an idea the council approved.
At Wabash Station on Thursday, riders had varied opinions about the three design options.
"The old buses were boring, but this is cool," said Tomomi Takase, a former MU exchange student from Japan who was back in town to visit friends. "All the students will love it."
Jerome Farmer, who recently moved to Columbia from Charleston, was more concerned about the practical aspects.
"I prefer Option C because it's easier to see the front and back of the bus if they're yellow than if they're white and black" like Options A and B, Farmer said. "But black and gold buses make sense because it's a college town."
Others were less impressed.
"Leave it like it is," said Barbara Brown, who takes the bus most days to her job at the Central Missouri Food Pantry. "They just changed the routes on us, and we're already used to the color."
The city has ordered six new buses with a $2 million federal grant, which are due to arrive in 2012. They will sport the new design, along with any other future buses, Public Works Department spokeswoman Jill Stedem said.
Repainting the city's entire bus fleet in black and gold would cost around $600,000 — too much, Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl said. Instead, the city will replace its blue and red buses as they wear out with the tiger-themed ones.
The Transportation Advisory Commission will consider the three designs at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Walton Building and bring its recommendation to the City Council.