COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus city leaders voted to approve several changes to METRA bus routes across town, following several months of public meetings, and studies that sought to make the bus system more efficient.
The proposals include getting rid of certain lines and adding new ones to accommodate riders who've asked city leaders for more service.
This latest round of changes was first discussed in January 2018.
City leaders and departments publicly stated they were looking for ways to both make the bus service as efficient as possible, and put a $20 million investment on hiring new drivers and buying new buses to good use.
After a study and survey looking at how many riders use each bus route, department directors have determined they will eliminate bus lines; those that will be discontinued are Route 8 for Uptown and Civic Commons, and Route 11 for Warm Springs Rd. and Weems Rd.
At the same time, the city has said they've seen a demand for more trips on certain bus routes. Metra will add more trips to both Route 5, with service to Columbus State University and Peachtree Mall, and Route 7 across South Columbus.
Proposed changes also include getting rid of specific trips for some routes - in particular, those that depart later in the evening, going into the night.
For example, on routes across East Wynnton, Fort Benning, CSU, and Veterans Parkway, the city's suggesting they stop service between 9- 10 p.m... this likely goes back to the study that's been done to look at when bus riders actually use the routes.
Another possible change, changing two specific routes in the city: Route 3 along St. Marys Rd. and Buena Vista Rd., and Route 6, which covers CSU and Milgen Rd.