County transit study funded

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a $225,000 contract for Cape Girardeau County's transit study on Friday.

The study has been touted by local transit officials as the one that will find solutions to the county's public transit problems. A recent study performed by the United Way of Southeast Missouri and the Community Caring Council showed that public transit such as a fixed-bus route was the No. 1 problem in the community.

Currently, there are several transit operators in the county, but they are all run independently, with many of them receiving the same funding from the federal government. The idea of the study is to find the best way to combine services and make transit as efficient as possible.

Shirley Tarwater, transit operation specialist with the Missouri Department of Transportation, said a company called BMI-SG from Virginia has been chosen largely because of its insistence on public input.

"Their plan includes interviews with all the transportation providers, stakeholders and the general public," she said.

Cape Girardeau County Transit director Jeff Brune said the transit authority will become involved with the study in early August.

Tarwater said the study will take about a year to complete.

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