Richland County Council members will vote Tuesday on reductions to the Midlands bus service that include shutting down some routes and consolidating others.
The changes to the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority will go into effect May 14, pending approval from the three governments that fund the bus system: Richland County Council, Columbia City Council and Lexington County Council.
The new plan will balance the CMRTA's budget for the rest of the fiscal year.
- Discontinuing Route 15B Decker/Forest Dr., Route 35 Village at Sandhill, Routes 36A and 36B Crosstown,
- Combining Route 3 Rosewood with Route 8 Rose Hill
- Combining Route 11 Colonial Heights/Colony Apartments with Route 12 Edgewood
- Reducing weekday service hours to 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Reducing Saturday service to 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Reducing Saturday service to 7 routes
- Cutting all Sunday service
- Cutting service on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day
By discontinuing two routes, combining others and shortening weekday hours, the CMRTA will save $1.4 million, according to a document attached to this week's county council agenda.
Shortening weekend hours and limiting the number of weekend routes will save $800,000, according to the document. Including all the changes, the CMRTA will save $2.5 million a year.
The CMRTA created a detailed guide to the new bus system until new maps can be made.
This plan is less severe than previous plans to save the bus system.
A plan presented to bus riders in January proposed stopping bus services at midday, on Saturdays and by 6:45 p.m. each day, according to a report in The State. The new plan will avoid those cuts.
Columbia City Council and Lexington County Council will likely vote on the new plan at their May 8 meetings.