New hours, routes will improve service for Metra riders in Columbus

New hours, routes will improve service for Metra riders in Columbus
Published: Sep. 28, 2016 at 11:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2016 at 12:33 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Because voters passed a one cent Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or T-SPLOST in Columbus back in 2012, Metra will roll out new and improved changes to the transit system in the coming weeks.

Metra will provide new brochures explaining the more services, more routes and more buses.

Getting more people where they need to go by public transportation is the goal of Metra Transit. Over the last few months, they've hired more bus drivers and expanded services and hours, especially for those who work later shifts. 

"There were parts in the city that people wanted to go and we just didn't have bus service there. One of the places was Gateway Walmart so we are having service there and also on Victory Drive. The trolley will be transporting from the city services center back and forth to Uptown," said Rosa Evans, Director of Metra Transit.

There will be a soft opening of the new changes on Saturday, Oct. 22. The fare will be free for all fixed bus routes.

"That's when customers will be able to ride the routes for free from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The purposes of the soft opening is for people to get familiar with the new service and to get accommodated with where the buses are going, what's changed and what's different," said Evans.

Evans started as a bus operator and now has 30 years of experience. She and city officials are ready to bring this new experience to all of Columbus.

"It all started three years ago when consultants were hired as a result of the T-SPLOST the transportation sales tax, so it's here," said Evans.

Routes will be expanded from 9 to 12 and hours of operations will go from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

With the new and additional services, Metra say they're not increasing any prices and they'll remain the same to ride the buses. 

A ribbon cutting ceremony open to the public, will also be held Monday, Oct. 31 from 11:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the transfer station on Linwood Boulevard.
There will be music, food and giveaways.

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