New transit routes bustling

Revised routes take riders downtown, through MU campus and to movie theaters
Tuesday, June 8, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:58 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

See map of new bus routes

Columbia resident Shantel Scott gives a favorable rating to the Columbia Transit System’s modified bus routes. While waiting for the bus at Wabash Station on Monday afternoon, Scott said the new bus stops are closer to her home, her wait for the bus seems shorter and the buses now travel to two movie theaters in the city.

“It’s been better,” she said. “They run by every 20 minutes or so, unlike before when they took 40 minutes to an hour.”

The city of Columbia had been gathering information and planning updated bus routes since last summer, according to Transportation Manager Ken Koopmans.

“It has gone through a lengthy public vetting process,” Koopmans said. “There were a number of public informational meetings seeking public feedback in February, March, and April. We were interested in streamlining our times. We had some requests to serve areas that hadn’t previously gotten bus service. We had a number of ridership generator points (i.e. grocery stores, movie theaters, etc.) that had closed or gone out of business, so therefore we needed to make adjustments.”

The changes were approved by the City Council on April 5 but were not implemented until Monday. Koopmans said the transit system waited until now to make the changes because it did not want to affect the public school system’s busing system.

The new routes include a downtown orbiter that travels through the downtown business district and the MU campus every 15 minutes during peak hours. An added route runs from Hollywood Theater on Stadium Boulevard to the Forum 8 Theater on Forum Boulevard.

However, not everyone is thrilled with the changes.

“There’s good and bad about it,” said Virginia Laboube, who has had to rearrange which buses she rides. Laboube also admitted she hates change.

But overall the new routes seem to be welcomed.

“We’ve had very positive feedback,” said Koopmans, who had talked to drivers and listened to the dispatch radio throughout the day.

Pamphlets outlining the new routes are available at Wabash Station.

For more information, visit the Columbia transit Web site.

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