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How to get around Columbia without your own car

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
A FastCAT Express bus passes a pedestrian crossing on Elm Street. A semester pass for the route is $100 or riders can by $1.50 per ride.

COLUMBIA — Without a car, transportation can be challenging for students. Although walking will get the job done, there are good alternatives, including shuttles and a public transit system. 

WeCar/Enterprise Car Share

Enterprise Rental Company and MU have a partnership to provide a car share program for students. It's an option for students who are too young to rent a car. The university provides parking spots for WeCars near Memorial Union and the Student Center. 

How it works: The entire process is online. Students can register and pay an annual fee of $35 for a membership. The students receives a card provided by the company and every time they wants to use a WeCar, they can log on to reservations.wecar.com, find availability for a car and reserve it. The cost per hour is around $8.

Then, students can go to a WeCar parking spot and unlock the car with their cards. The service is available 24/7.

Location: There are four parking spots for WeCars on campus. Two are in the Student Center parking lot, and two are in the Memorial Union parking lot. The cars have a WeCar logo. 

Includes: Damage and liability protection and fuel

STRIPES

STRIPES provides rides home within the city of Columbia to MU students and a maximum of four other guests. It operates Thursday through Saturday nights during the fall and spring academic semesters at no cost. There are 12 cars in total.

How it works: MU students can call 442-9672 from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. After they provide their student number, a car is sent on a first- come, first-served basis to the student's location.

The driver picks up and drops off passengers within Columbia city limits. The service is available in case of bad weather, lack of a car or if the student cannot operate a vehicle. The driver only takes students to home addresses, never to other businesses.

Limitations: Every student can call for one ride per night.

More information can be found on its website: stripes.missouri.edu.

MO-X

MO-X provides shuttle transportation from Columbia to St. Louis and Kansas City airports every day. Estimated time to the cities from Columbia is around 2.5 hours. The daily schedule includes 12 round trips to St. Louis and five round trips to Kansas City in buses or vans.

How it works: Students can make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance online  or by phone. Those who choose to leave from the MO-X office should arrive 10 minutes before departure. Those who choose "door-to-door" service must be waiting at the appointed time.  

Door-to-door service costs an additional $10 one-way. Each passenger is allowed to bring two suitcases, one larger carry-on item and one personal carry-on item.

Drop-offs at the airport are in front of each airline entrance.

Requirements: Passenger's name, airline and time of travel.

Cost: If you book online, a round-trip ride costs $86 if you leave from the MO-X office and $100 if you choose door-to-door service.

By phone, a round trip ride costs $90 if you leave from the office and $110 for door-to-door service.

Contact: Visit the website at moexpress.com or call 256-1991. The office is located at 303 Business Loop 70 E.

FastCAT Bus

FastCAT Bus is a public transportation service in Columbia that provides rides for many off-campus students. It covers different routes with 26 stops around campus, downtown, Stephens College and University Hospital. 

How it works: Each bus has an electronic display on the front indicating the route. Pick-up locations and a bus tracker are available at ridefastcat.com.

Cost: Every ride is $1.50. Students can buy 30-day passes for $55 or an unlimited semester pass for $100. Groups of 20 or more students can buy a pass for $62.50.

A pass can be purchased at the Columbia Transit Office in the Wabash bus station at 126 N. Tenth Street.

Mizzou Bike Share

Students can rent a bike at the MU Student Center for the day at no cost. During the fall and spring semesters, the office opens at 7 a.m. and stays open until midnight, but the bikes must be returned one hour prior to the Student Center closing.

How it works: Students who want to check out a bike should go to the main information desk at MU Student Center and show their MU student ID.

A liability waiver and a bike share program agreement must be signed.

Bikes are locked at the MU Student Center parking lot. Keys to the lock are provided during check out.

More information can be found at the Bike Share website: bikeshare.missouri.edu.


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