STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Starkville and MSU launced a new transit system with the help of an MDOT grant.
"It offers a unique opportunity for Starkville and citizens of Starkville to be able to move around our community and on and off campus," said Scott Maynard, Ward 5 Alderman.
It's called the Starkville Mississippi State Area Rapir Transit or "SMART," and already over 45,000 riders have used it in 21 days.
"It's great that the buses actually go into the community and you can ride here and don't have to worry about finding parking," said Brian Lentz, student. "It's great to get where you need to go."
Another advantage to utilizing SMART is that it's free.
"Times are hard and and when you don't have to pay to go to sorority row or fraternity row you don't have to make this trek in the cold," said Chandler Scarbrough, student. "It's so convenient and I'm just thankful that Mississippi State provides that for us."
"It saves on gas especially and parking tickets which I've had so you don't have to worry about that kind of thing," said Caroline Turner, student.
MSU and the city are already making plans to add additional routes and cut down on the wait time at the transit stops.
"We're actually in the grant writing process now. So, our next proposal is due to MDOT by on March first so that we get money to add additional routes," said Jeremiah Dumas, interim director of transit and parking at MSU.
SMART is also beneficial to the low to moderate income population in the city who are trying to get to destinations on the route.
"This includes getting to riders to critical need areas such as the grocery store, the electric department, and the medical community," said Edward Kemp, city engineer.
Each shuttle carries around 40 people comfortably.