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Indiana Firm May Bring Bus Service to Columbus

Posted by Steve Rogers | August 22, 2012 / 04:27pm | Local News, Business, Faith & Family
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) -- An Indiana couple says they can bring public bus service to Columbus at no charge to local taxpayers.

Cliff and Paula Redden opened a bus service in Lawrence, Ind., an Indianapolis suburb with a population of about 46,000 people, earlier this year using small 20-passenger buses and a combination of federal subsidies and low-rates.

Like most public transits, the service makes stops at designated times and locations on major roads throughout the city, linking neighborhoods with shopping, medical facilities and other popular destinations. Fees range between $1.50 for a single ride and $60 for an unlimited month-long pass.

The Columbus City Council agreed Tuesday night to hear a presentation from Redden and how it might work in Columbus. Mayor Robert Smith spoke with Redden after a Columbus resident became aware of the Lawrence operation and suggested Smith contact them about trying to bring transit service to the city.

Columbus officials have discussed the idea for years but have been unable to get it off the ground. During preliminary conversations with Smith and Federal Programs Director Travis Jones, Redden said he thought the service would work in Columbus. He suggested starting with 10 buses running from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on routes throughout the sity to connect neighborhoods with shopping areas, health care outlets, downtown and other neighborhoods.

Redden promised Smith and Jones it would not cost taxpayers money, citing the Indiana operation as an example.

During brief comments to the City Council, Jones said the bus service would generate as many as 70 jobs from dispatchers and bus drivers to mechanics and supervisors.
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