The new transit system, COMO Connect, went for its first test run earlier this week. The system went on a full run beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Columbia’s Multi-Modal Manager Drew Brooks said he received a lot of positive feedback from driver’s participating in the test. However, he said he realizes there are still a few changes that need to be made for the new system to run efficiently.
“You know there’s a couple of little things-bugs you kind of see when you run everything in order. So we’re working on kind of tweaking the schedule just a little bit just to make sure everything meshes up the way we want it,” Brooks said.
Brooks also said COMO Connect will include new routes when it goes into effect on August 4.
“We’ll be going out all of the way out to Lake of the Woods and all the way to Battle High School, which is not on any route currently. We will be going down Scott Boulevard, into that area and then all the way down into Old Plank Road,” Brooks said.
Columbia’s City Council originally approved the plan in February. Council member Ian Thomas said he has made sure to address any concerns that he or residents may have had about the new system.
“As far as concerns, I have been very concerned to make sure that our existing bus riders, who are mostly lower income people, are not adversely affected by the changes,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he is in strong support of the new system and that the new design uses existing bus resources efficiently by providing a better bus service for the outlying areas of Columbia.
He also said the city has made sure to use its resources efficiently in order to improve the service in a lot of areas that do not currently have bus service in Columbia without deteriorating service anywhere else.