COMO Connect class allows bus riders to learn about new routes

Monday, July 7, 2014 | 6:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia residents came to COMO Connect's Wabash Station on Monday for the first of nine free classes about the agency's new bus route system, which will go into effect Aug. 4.

The updated transport network will consist of 11 bus routes and will have more than 700 bus stops around the city.

Two COMO Connect bus drivers attended the first class to answer residents' questions about the new system.

The Columbia residents who attended the event Monday morning voiced concerns about how the route would affect them.

William Stewart, who takes the bus twice a week to get groceries at Gerbes, said he felt good about the new system after speaking to a bus driver about his new route.

“We don’t have enough buses now,” Stewart said. “It will probably take everyone a while to adjust to the new system, but I think it will be an improvement in the long run.”

Destiny Powell, who often takes the bus to Columbia Mall, said she isn't worried about the new routes.

"It doesn't affect me at all," she said about the new system.

Teresa White, marketing specialist for the Columbia Public Works Department, said there will be a learning curve not only for the riders but also the drivers.

“It’s a big adjustment for the community and for the staff,” White said. “Everyone is affected by the new system, so it will take time for everyone to get acclimated.”

The next class is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway. Two sessions will be offered on Thursday; one at 5 p.m. at Wabash Station, 126 N. Tenth St., and another at 5:30 p.m. at Oakland Middle School, 3405 Oakland Place. The final session is 10 a.m. Friday at Wabash Station.

Supervising editor is Seth Klamann.

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