Cape Girardeau Co. transit proposes free bus rides - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau Co. transit proposes free bus rides

(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority wants to be the first of its kind in the area to run free of charge.

Tom Mogelnicki, executive director of CTA, proposed the idea of making the Cape Girardeau bus system free at the city council meeting on September 19, 2016.

Right now, the transit system has 61 stops. The current cost is $2 for the public and $1 for seniors and people with disabilities.

Mogelnicki said the transit system has financial support from the Federal Transit Authority and takes in about $25,000 a year from its fixed bus routes.

However, Mogelnicki did the math and said if the city contributes $15,000 a year it would off-set the cost to be free. 

Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger said it is financially possible to contribute $15,000 of the city's budget towards CTA.

The bus runs six days a week and wouldn't have to charge anything if the city agrees to the contribution because of other funding from the federal government.

At the meeting, Mogelnicki said ridership increases every year, but if ridership becomes free he expects it to grow.

"I think a lot more people would ride the bus if it was free," transit rider John Tinsely said.

He said after going to Kansas City and seeing the light rail run for free, he said why can't Cape Girardeau do the same thing.

"I like it, right now we're in between jobs, so it would be easier for us to ride transportation, we're just now moving here to Cape from Charelston and it's hard for us to get back and forth I think it's a neat idea," transit rider Beria Willis said.

Some city council members said it would be a positive thing for the community.

"I think $2 would make a lot of difference between some people. mean we don't have a bunch of money like [Willis] said we're in between jobs and we're just struggling to get by and we take the bus everywhere we go, so I think it would make a lot of difference," Tinsely said.

Right now, the idea is just a proposal and the idea still needs to get onto the agenda for review.

Paducah Area Transit System

The fare to ride the bus in Paducah, Ky. is $1 per ride. Ages 0-5 are free, 6-12 50 cents, students 50 cents, 13-55 $1, Seniors 50 cents, Seniors with gold card free. The system also has monthly passes.

Jackson County Mass Transit District

The fare to ride the bus in Jackson County, Ill. is $2 per ride. Ages 0-5 are free, 6-15 $1, Seniors $1. The system also has monthly passes.

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