Contact: Columbia Public Works
For six months the City of Columbia has been actively gathering public feedback on the new proposed changes to the city bus system, but that window of opportunity is coming to an end January 10thas the City closes the online survey and moves forward with finalizing the plans.
"Through the online survey and public meetings, we've been able to gather very valuable feedback from Columbia residents so far, but we want to make sure everyone has a chance to participate in the planning process because the new bus system will ultimately affect the entire community." Drew Brooks, Multi-Modal Manager
The proposed plans include a complete overhaul of the current "hub and spoke" system that's centralized downtown at the Wabash station, and instead, proposes a larger service area through a network of neighborhood routes and core connector routes that will be more efficient and faster for customers to reach their destination. The new system would offer a lot of new benefits to riders including new service areas, more transfer locations, more consistent hours of operation throughout the week, shorter wait times, and buses traveling in both directions on the core routes, but some customers say they are going to miss the more familiar centralized system out of the downtown Wabash station.
"A lot of hard work and careful consideration is going into the new system design, and the team is focused on coming up with a system that really fits Columbia's growing community and can service customers a lot better. Public input is crucial to determining the needs of the community and finding out what our citizens want out of a public transportation system." John Glascock, Director of Public Works
Citizens can get involved in the planning process by viewing the new proposed system and routes online, and taking free surveys to give their feedback and opinions of the new plan. All the information about the project is available online at www.COMOConnect.org, and customers can watch the project video, view route maps, and find links to the surveys. The City says that the survey portion of the project will close on Friday, January 10th and all the feedback will be compiled and considered by Council in February.
"The response from the public on the new system design has been extremely positive so far, and we have been able to use the feedback to make some necessary tweaks and changes already. If someone is at all interested in public transportation in Columbia, now is the time to speak up and get involved." Teresa White, Marketing Specialist.
Columbia Transit will be presenting the new design to Council in February and plans to implement the new system by August 4th of this year.