CU wants your input on improving bus service in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A recent survey is generating a bit of a frenzy among bus riders in Springfield.

Questions about bus service and schedules have some people in the community worried major changes are on the way.

"Our transportation system is way, way behind," said bus rider Darlene Steele.

She has used the bus for decades.

"Just from past history with City Utilities, they seem to go the wrong direction a lot of times when they improve bus service. It never really seems to be an improvement," she said.

Steele said she's often struggled to get around town.

"I worked a job where I got off at midnight and I was stuck five miles away on the other side of town. I could get to work and it wasn't too bad getting to work but I had no way home," she said.

Steele had to spend extra money on cab fare.

"You figure eleven dollars a few nights a week over a month's time, that's a big chunk of somebody's income when you don't have much income to begin with," she said.

Steele said the survey she recently picked up during one of her rides was a bit concerning.

"The things that were asked on this survey indicate that they're considering not only condensing routes, yet again, after they did when they re-routed after the new terminal was built, but curtailing hours of service," she explained.

Director of Transit for City Utilities, Kelly Turner said, "We just want to ask some questions to get a sense of what our customers would like to see out of the service. If we were to sometime look at changes what those might look like. We want to make it better for the most people that we possibly can."

Turner said it's been about 7 years since this type of survey has been conducted.

"How do you currently use the bus system? What are our customers' preferences on how we might allocate our resources. Then just some basic demographic information about our ridership. We simply just want to get information from our customers," Turner said.

It's important and necessary to maintain federal funding.

Steele is hoping to see changes.

"They prefer to set up their routes in a circular manner so that there's always this dead space in the middle. If you're trying to get somewhere in the middle or you live somewhere in the middle, it's a trial to access the bus," she said. You end up riding around in a circle to get back to the terminal. If they could just help us out by putting the bus system on a grid that would be great."

Starting January 7th there will be changes to the outline 26 Black Route.

It was altered when the Main Street terminal first opened. It isn't running as efficient as officials had hoped.

If you want to give CU your thoughts on the bus service, you can pick up a survey in a bus or take it online.

You have until Friday to get that done.