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More input sought on Columbia bus system

Jan 24, 2011 1:03:00 PM - thestate.com
Officials concerned about the future of the metropolitan bus system want input from USC, Fort Jackson and other stakeholders, but no firm decisions about the saving the current bus service were made at Monday’s sitdown.

One of the goals was to make a peace offering to the Central Midlands Regional Transportation Authority, which has been under fire recently from Columbia and Lexington County. Both have publicly complained that the authority has been unwilling to open its financial books or provide basic information about ridership and routes.

"We’re talking. We’re listening. We’re not accusing," CMRTA board member Bob Liming said of the tone of Monday’s 90-minute meeting in Columbia City Hall. "Nobody’s blamed anybody because, you know, we’re all to blame."

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and Lexington County Councilwoman Debbie Summers said they have received the information they wanted from the authority.

Benjamin, who led the meeting, said the group will get to work at its February session after committees are assigned specific tasks such as comparing the local system to other cities, seeking sources of federal funds, public relations efforts to make riding buses more popular and making the service more useful for students, soldiers and others.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)