advertisement

Gaps in public transit seen

Boone residents say expanded hours, service area needed
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:12 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boone County residents need longer hours of public transportation operation and geographically larger service areas.

That’s according to the Boone County Coordinated Transportation Study, which was presented to the public on Tuesday at the Daniel Boone City Building. Transit users said they encountered inadequate transportation services, including public transportation, special needs and elderly transit services.

To carry out the study, the Boone County Community Partnership worked with LSC Consultants Inc. and the Center for Advanced Social Research at MU to identify transit needs in Boone County and consequently suggest ways to use current resources to enhance transportation in the area. Stimulated by the success of coordinated transportation in Boulder, Colo., the Boone County Community Partnership organized the study in 2004.

The MU research center conducted the survey by questioning 2,739 students, university employees, clients of human services agencies such as school districts and health care services and a cross-section of Boone County elderly, disabled and low-income families considered more likely to use public transportation services.

Downtown Columbia and northeastern Boone County, including Centralia, were identified as the areas of the county with the greatest transportation demands.

The study found that 50 percent of the transportation needs identified in the county are currently unmet. These needs were defined by community responses describing current uses and recommendations for future services.

“We won’t ever meet 100 percent of the transportation needs,” said A.T. Stoddard, the spokesman for LSC. However, he presented suggestions gleaned from the survey that could improve transit services in the area.

The study offers suggestions to individual transit agencies, including the importance of improved public education on the availability of transit services in Columbia and greater cooperation among area agencies. Agencies include Columbia Transit, OATS Inc. and specialized transit services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Stoddard said that increased cooperation among transportation providers could alleviate the transit difficulties some members of the community encounter in traveling to and from the workplace.

On a larger scale, the study encouraged developing commuter services to connect Jefferson City, Columbia, and maybe Centralia as well. Also, the study suggested forming a regional transit authority that would coordinate all public transportation throughout the county and extend south to Jefferson City in Cole County.

“That’s a long term idea,” Stoddard said, acknowledging barriers such as approval by county and city councils.

The study will be finalized in the next month. At that time, it will be presented to the Boone County Commission and transportation agencies for further action.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements