METRA transportation proposing changes to bus routes and times in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Changes could be coming to the local METRA bus transportation system in Columbus.

A proposal was presented to the city of Columbus by bus directors to not only eliminate some routes but replace them with new routes.

The local transit system reportedly makes around 1.4 million trips per year and is relied on by many people.

"I work downtown, so I definitely rely on buses to get there," says Amber Pendleton.

For Amber Pendleton, she relies on the bus system daily.

"I came from Atlanta, so buses ran really consistently, and to be in Columbus, and not having buses run that often, and I live elsewhere, it is a bit difficult, to try and get places," says Pendleton.

The struggle to get places could be a bit harder as METRA Transportation of Columbus adds more changes to their line-up.

"Yes, people are riding some of the routes, but then there are some that are not being utilized," says Director of METRA, Rosa Evans.

Some of those lesser utilized areas being Route 8 along Uptown and Route 11 running Warm Springs Road and Weems Road.

These routes reportedly going hours without any passengers.

"There are a couple of routes that maybe ride 10 or 15 people a day, which can be 12 or 16 hours a day," says Director of METRA, Rosa Evans.

This comes after the city implemented more than $20 million to improve services by hiring new drivers, and purchasing new buses in 2016. Since that time, Evans evaluating the current system and what is effective.

"The main reason is to be efficient. We don't want to continue running bus services that are not being utilized, we want to make sure we are putting those dollars, where they are needed," says Evans.

But along with eliminating these two routes, there will also be additions.

Routes that are more frequently used with regular customers like along Peachtree Mall area, and South Columbus.

Evans says it is all in a way to make things and the system more efficient.

Many of the changes would be to late-night bus services. There will be multiple hearings at the transportation office to learn more about the changes.

For more information about the proposed changes, you can call, the METRA transportation office at (706) 225-4673.

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