Monday, May 22, 2006

Day 19-22

Day 19 through 22.
Unfortunately the bus is not always a worthy replacement for our vehicles. While Thad and I have tried the past few days to take the bus the schedules do not work with our schedules.

Friday morning I had to get some things back to work and could not carry all of the things on the bus so I had to drive. Friday evening Thad and I thought we would take the bus to the movies and realized that we could not since the buses would not run late enough to get us home. Even with their specail routes to the theater. Saturday I had to get to work and so the bus does not run early enough for an 8am start time. And of course the bus does not run on Sundays. An uneventfull week for the Simmons Bus Experiment.

We are still here and we are still trying to use the Columbia Transit System as much as possible.


At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a lot of bus drivers and other people from the bus system see this site, and I saw that a new route and oter improvements are on the way in '06. Can any one confirm if it is really going to happen?

Also, due to the rise on the outskirts of Columbia, areas that still are in Boone County, will the city do away with its rule that bus sevice is not to be provided to areas out of city-limits? Will a creation of a county transit authority be in the works by the turn of the decade? You see, I ask this because many new neighborhoods that have just been built arent evan in the city limits, therefore the resadints can not take advantge of city public transit.

Soon, the city and county should begin providing compatible, fixed route transit services, either done under a singel 'metro area' service, or under two city and county transit services that meet up at sevral points and have coordinated shcudules for timed transfer.

I dont think thats to far fetched, evan for Columbia. With a growing population both in and around the city, growing concerns about gas, pollution, car wrecks, insurance, I think that consedering a mass-transit system shows our city is matureing, and I think if its good and useble by the masses, than it wont just be a 'empty seat system' like so many claim our current one is.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous CT Driver said...

There are talks about all those things going on now. In fact, next week's City Council meeting (May 30th) will cover at least the creation of one new route (the Gold Route) that supposedly takes in the Old Hwy. 63 area south of Stadium, Grindstone Pkwy and Campus. Details are sketchy, but should be worked out at this meeting.
The biggest question I get these days is extended service on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: "When will it happen?" My answer is always "When the City Council comes up with the positions and the money to pay the new drivers."
As the Simmons' note, even these changes will not bring the system up to full-fledged Mass Transit system. These are still incremental steps on the way from "charity system" to true mass transit.
All those interested in seeing things progress faster should be contacting their City Councilpeople and letting them know their wishes for the system. It really is the only way it will happen.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous CT Driver said...

I miss-spoke. The next council meeting to cover the changes I spoke of is Jun e 5. My apologies for anyone who is geared up for a something that won't happen.

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Lee Radtke said...

Just a quick weigh-in on the new service questions:
A Gold Route has been designed as a kind of commuter route that would run during the MU fall and winter semesters to serve the burgeoning student population along Old Highway 63 and part of Nifong. Whether or not this route is put into service is entirely up to the City Council. If they approve it, it would start service when MU resumes in August.

The new fare boxes are scheduled to go live June 19. The new FASTPasses that replace the old monthly passes and ticket books will be available in Wabash Station beginning June 26. I'm sure there'll be some bugs to work out, but the new fare cards will give riders more flexibility.

Right now, our focus is very much on the upcoming Wabash station renovation. That's not to say that Transit is ignoring the continuing need for improved bus service, but the system is receiving a much-needed - I was going to say face-lift, but it's more than that. The customer service should improve considerably. A better, expanded waiting area, a better-designed, covered boarding area and a professional administrative wing will make using the bus and - on our end - serving the passengers so much easier.

The improvements to the fare system and the station are really happening. The Gold Route - we don't know yet.

As for service outside the city, Transit is dialoguing with other transit providers in the area, as well as other concerned parties (like MoDOT, for instance). Coordinating transportation systems county-wide is complicated, not just because of turf concerns and politics, but because funding is so hard to get. Most federal grants are for start-up service; they will pay for maybe one year, then you have to reapply and take your chances on funding, find some other revenue source or end the service. No transit system wants to end a route that people have built jobs around. Expect any change in this area to be gradual and carefully thought through. At least the stakeholders are aware that there is need for better public transportation throughout Boone County.

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only should the Gold rotue go into service, but at least another as well that possily would serve either North Rangeline St., and Down to the AC exit, OR serving Forum Shopping Center, and Lake of the Woods park area. There are many aeras needing soom service soon.

I will begin attending the council meetings more regularly and speak about the needs of public transit when its applicable.

And yes, one major thing needed is service after 6:30 Mon -Wed. And Sunday service. You know, Springfeild's transit system (although its privitley opperated) runs from 5 am to 11 pm every day. In near time, the same oppeartion times would well suit this city. I hope that not only people from the transit system visit this site, but council members as well. It is true, they make the desision to improve the system. I hope they do.


Post a Comment

<< Home