Expanding bus service tops list for Bluff Road voters
A pro-bus crowd grilled transit officials on service to southeast Columbia at a transportation sales-tax forum Monday night.
“Are you planning on expanding the bus system?” Vivian Robinson asked operations manager Larry Livingston.
“Our interest is to expand the system,” Livingston responded, “and certainly heading south is part of it.”
Robinson was among about 35 people attending a county-sponsored forum at Bluff Road Park on the Nov. 6 transportation sales-tax referendum. A second question on ballots will ask Richland County residents’ permission to borrow up to $450 million that would be repaid with the proceeds from the sales tax. Boosters say paying for $1 billion in projects with borrowed money would save money in the long run, allowing the county to do projects quickly.
The tax would last 22 years. It would go for roads, bus service and a combination of sidewalks, bike lanes and nature trails.
Questions from the crowd Monday night trended toward the bus system, with many saying they want service around the Hopkins community in Lower Richland County.
“The priority No. 1 here is the bus,” said resident James Porter, who said the county should have trimmed its wish list and set priorities.
Another contingent of people talked about the need to pave dirt roads.