COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A two-day trip to Indiana leaves Columbus officials hoping a major new service for area residents will soon become a reality.
Mayor Robert Smith, City Attorney Jeff Turnage and others spent two days in Lawrence, Indiana meeting with Lawrence Transit owner Cliff Reddon about his year-old plans to open a similar service in Columbus within 60 to 90 days.
Routes tentatively have been approved but Reddon has not yet settled on a fee schedule. The city also will work with him on applying for state and federal grants.
But city officials say they remain optimistic that Reddon will soon kick off service here with four buses — two 16-passenger buses and two 26-passenger buses.
The city will lease Reddon space to store the buses at the city’s Public Works barn.
The only cost to local taxpayers is marking the bus stops.
STATEMENT FROM THE CITY ON THE TOUR
Mayor Robert Smith, Council member for Ward 1, Gene Taylor, Federal Programs Director Travis Jones and Columbus City Attorney Jeff Turnage returned last night from a fact – finding trip to Lawrence, Indiana, near Indianapolis, where they met with officials there with regard to Lawrence Transit System’s offering bus transportation within the City of Columbus, Mississippi.
While on their trip they met Lawrence Transit System President Cliff Redden, who introduced them to Mike Terry, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation “IndyGo”, Rosco Brown, Director of Coordinated Transportation for IndyGo to discuss various funding sources, the federal regulations applicable to mass transit systems receiving federal funds and alternative transportation services offered by IndyGo. While there, Juan Battle, the IndyGo Director of Transportation gave them a tour of their hub, including their dispatching office, training facilities, maintenance garage and health care facilities.
The next day of the trip, the committee met the Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Dean Jessup, and the COO for the City. Afterword, the group toured the City of Lawrence, reviewed the Lawrence Transit System route and met with Freddie Burrus, Executive Director of the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority with regard to various economic development ideas in and around the City of Lawrence.
They also met with Christina Campoll of the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority about the details of their regional Authority, operating in 11 counties around Indianapolis.
“The meeting was very informative and the City of Columbus is looking forward to Lawrence Transit System’s arrival here to provide services for the citizenry of Columbus” said Mayor Robert Earl Smith, Sr.