Contact: Columbia Public Works
Columbians may be surprised to see city buses driving around some new neighborhoods this Sunday, but they will also notice an illuminated "Not In Service" sign scrolling across the front reader board. This weekend Columbia Transit will be taking advantage of Sunday having no public bus service to start training their drivers on new routes that will be opening to the public this summer. Residents will see the buses driving by both current bus stops as well as branching into new territories that the new routes will include, and they will also be able to see the buses on the DoubleMap live-bus tracking app, but the buses will not be open to public service while they are in the closed training session this Sunday.
The additional training comes after a recent Columbia City Council approval of the CoMO Connect community project to revamp and improve the city bus system. Columbia Transit is now tasked with retraining all of the staff and drivers on the new system this summer, before the routes are rolled out to the public in July and August.
"It's going to take a lot of hard work this summer to get ready for the changeover in August, but the city has a great plan in place to make the transition as easy as possible on customers and create long-lasting improvements to the system," says Drew Brooks, Columbia's Multi-Modal Manager.
There will be many more closed training days scheduled in the coming months for the staff to practice the new routes and to make sure drivers are fully prepared to help customers on the new system. There will also be a big focus on public education available this summer including educational classes, a traveling information bus, and marketing campaigns to make sure customers are aware of the changes and benefits of the new system.
For more information on the CoMO Connect community project and the new routes coming in August, visit www.CoMOConnect.org.