Just three years into the new CoMO Connect system, the city of Columbia is once again planning an overhaul of its bus system.
Since CoMO Connect launched in 2014, the system has seen significant decreases in ridership. Compared with 2014, 16.5 percent fewer passengers rode the buses in 2015, and in 2016 the decline was 28.2 percent. That’s a loss of more than 23,000 rides.
And of the 11 bus routes that CoMO Connect operates, just two — the Black and Gold routes — comprise 70 percent of the passengers who use the transit system. The other nine routes each carry 1 percent to 6 percent of the bus system’s total passengers.
Despite the decline in ridership, the money the city allocates for the buses remains about the same. It costs a total of $5.5 million to run the 11 routes in fiscal 2015. The fiscal 2016 budget remains $5.5 million, while the adopted fiscal 2017 budget bumped the total to $5.8 million.
Read more: Columbia Missourian