By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Oxford-University Transit will add another route to its schedule that will extend Saturday service to student-dominated residential complexes.
“We’re going to be starting the Purple Route … on Jan. 28, the Saturday after school begins,” said system manager Ron Biggs.
The Purple Route will offer hourly service on Saturdays starting at 9 a.m., with the last circuit starting at 4 p.m. Its southern portion follows the weekday route that ferries hundreds of riders daily to the University of Mississippi from neighborhoods along Old Taylor Road. West of campus it will stop at student apartments along Hathorn Road and Anderson Road, adding a stop at Walmart.
“It’s like the Green Line and Yellow Line combined, because it covers all those residences,” Biggs said. “When school starts back we’ll be going every Saturday except home football Saturdays.”
The Yellow and Green routes’ primary use is by Ole Miss students, and service to the Hathorn, Anderson and Old Taylor areas in which many of them live has been limited to Monday through Friday.
The Purple Route will provide an additional day of transportation from those same areas to the campus and the West Jackson commercial corridor.
It also will connect at the Ole Miss Student Union with the east-west Blue Line, which connects with the north-south Red Line at the Square and the Old Armory, giving residents weekend access to the medical community, grocery stores and other popular destinations.
Facing increasing traffic and parking challenges with a fast-growing student body, the university offers free transit passes to its students, faculty and staff members.
As a result, they constitute the vast majority of riders on O-U Transit – more than 50,000 of the 55,428 passengers in September 2011, its busiest month.