STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi State University has announced that two new campus-community bus routes will be added to the transit system that already services those communities.
According to an MSU news release on Monday, a grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation will funnel more than $800,000 into transit operations and $1.5 million for the purchase of 12 new buses.
Officials say two of those buses will the trolley-style shuttles that will provide routes in Starkville's historic downtown district.
Mike Harris, who helped oversee the MDOT grant and who is also MSU's director of parking services, says that the transit system will also be renamed next spring as the SMART system.
That acronym stands for Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit.
In addition to the downtown area, the news release says other stops will include the OCH Regional Medical Center, Walmart Supercenter and Kroger grocery store.
Harris says that with the new additions, the entire University Transit and SMART system will add up to 32 vehicles with an expected ridership of 6,000 to 8,000 passengers a day.
According to officials, year-round city routes will continue six days a week, Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.
And, they say the 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.