Transit system expanding in Starkville

Starkville StockThe Associated Press

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University is adding two new campus-community bus routes to the transit system serving those communities.

WTVA reported the Mississippi Department of Transportation will give more than $800,000 for operations and $1.5 million for the purchase of 12 buses.

Officials said two of the buses will be the trolley-style shuttles that serve Starkville’s historic downtown district.

Mike Harris, who helped oversee the MDOT grant and who is also MSU’s director of parking services, said the transit system will be renamed next spring as the SMART system.

That acronym stands for Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit.

In addition to the downtown area, other stops will include the OCH Regional Medical Center, Walmart Supercenter and Kroger grocery store.

Harris said the additional vehicles will a system that includes an expected ridership of 6,000 to 8,000 passengers a day.

Year-round city routes will continue six days a week, Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Campus routes typically operate five days a week during the academic year from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Any passenger can ride any shuttle at no cost. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.