Plans on utilizing penny tax - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Plans on utilizing penny tax may include bus upgrades

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Legal challenges aside from planning are well underway for how to use a portion of the penny sales tax for dramatic upgrades of the Midlands bus system.

They are the kind of buses that might change a lot of minds about the bus-riding experience.

CMRTA Director Bob Schneider says buses that are flatter on the floor with higher headroom and colorful are just one of many things riders can look forward to now that passage of the penny sales tax has provided Columbia's mass transit system with a stable source of funding.

According to Schneider the changes won't all happen right away.

Schneider says CMRTA will have to begin work to enhance bus service knowing that revenues from the tax won't be collected by the state until May first.

And those dollars won't find their way to the transit authority until around August. He says it is possible to begin hiring for new staff positions before then.

One of the first things that will happen for riders is a public forum will be held on Thursday, November 29th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the downtown Sumter street station.

The forum will give riders a chance to sound off and hear about plans to restore some service hours and increase frequency on existing routes.

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