LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tiger Transit Movement seeking solutions

Monday, February 20, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:14 p.m. CST, Monday, February 20, 2012

Much has been said about Columbia Transit and its recent growing pains. While the city hoped more citizens would utilize the buses as their main source of transportation, this is currently not the case. Of these citizens, college students are the main patrons.

Most student-oriented apartment complexes offer free buses to campus. MU contracts with the city to shuttle students to and from commuter parking lots. The city offers a free downtown/university bus with service every twenty minutes. Without question, the main users of the transit system are students.

However, the city has now exhausted its resources to maintain this status quo. We are in jeopardy of losing the ground which has been gained by the earth-friendly initiative of public transit.

That is where we, the Tiger Transit Movement, come into the discussion.

We founded, organized and managed this movement to be a voice for students as concerns arise. Our mission focuses on asking students what kind of transit system they want, educating students about great student-centric transit systems in the U.S. and advocating for students in the communitywide conversation about transit.

Each member of the Tiger Transit Movement applauds the efforts already made to analyze and improve the transit system. We are working with the city manager’s office to explore how other college transit systems operate. We hope to discover how these systems remain self-sustaining while not overburdening the students.

Members of the Tiger Transit Movement recently participated in a productive and open discussion with a consultant from Solstice Transportation Group. We are eager to see their report as they continue to work with MU Parking and Transportation Services in the upcoming months.

Ultimately, the Tiger Transit Movement is a part of the ongoing transit conversation. We are working towards a solution that will ideally come in the form of a modern, efficient and sustainable transit system that serves students and community members well.

Rose Eppensteiner is a member of the Tiger Transit Movement and a senior at MU.

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