On August 4th, Columbia Transit began operating under the new name Como Connect. Along with the name change came a drastically different route structure. It used to be all buses ran in a hub spoke system with routes beginning and terminating at the historic Wabash Terminal in downtown. As I pointed out several years ago the old routing wasn’t the most convenient. It was worse if you wanted to go to the mall and lived on let’s say Rollins Rd. and Stadium Blvd, which required you to take a bus all the way east to Wabash and transfer there to go back west towards the mall. The waiting and transferring made owning a car so much convenient. Como Connect hopes to change all that with their new neighborhood routes which have buses circulate in areas around Columbia. However, in my opinion without a transit center/hub or two its still not convenient and add to that limited evening and weekend service. Again, with the new name there still is no Sunday service. It is still the same old CT, but wearing a new suit.
The city of Columbia needs to encourage Mizzou students to ride the buses more. Yes, they have campus circular routes, routes that take students shopping, and routes from their housing to campus, but they need to create something that would make them want to give up their cars to use it to go anywhere around town. Selling semester passes is good; I am sure many students buy it, but they still need to create transit centers/hubs around Columbia. Columbia sent officials to analyze other college town transit agencies such as Cyride and CUMTD (Campaign Urbana) back in 2012. These two systems are far more superior over Como due to many factors. Both run late into the nights during school semesters and both have Sunday service and get you connected to where you want to go efficiently. Hopefully Como improves, but it will take time for them to catch up.
Here are some pictures I took back in May 2014 before the name change to Como Connect. During my last visit I did not see any of the 2000 New Flyer D40LF 1800s. I hear Columbia still has them, but that day the Gilligs were all out in force.