SMART undergoes route changes


SMART Marketing and Communications Coordinator Hannah Howell gave a presentation about the SMART system Wednesday at the Emerson Family School. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)

By: 
MARY RUMORE
Staff Writer

The Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit (SMART) bus system is making some changes next week.

SMART is a free public transit system linking Starkville and Mississippi State University's campus.

"This is a free service, and it is very important to our directors that this stays a free service to our community," SMART Marketing and Communications Coordinator Hannah Howell said. "I'm very proud of this that its free."

Howell discussed the changes during a workshop at the Emerson Family School.

SMART will be closed Aug. 13 and 14 for driver training, and the new routes will begin at 7 a.m., Aug. 15.

Howell said the free Double Map smartphone application allows riders to track buses in real time and see their arrival times. Riders can also text message their stop number to 662-268-5180 for bus stop times, which is a free service this year.

Also new to this year, Howell said updated signs will be installed at stops with the stop number in the upper left corner, map and color route.

"Remember when you're looking at the signs, if the bus number is outbound or inbound," Howell said. "If you're confused, ask the driver. They're awesome and they're there to help."

Outbound buses travel away from campus, while inbound buses travel toward campus.

Howell said one of the main changes to the routes this year includes the Highway 12 Route and the Boardtown North Route, which will now both stop at the new Walmart Neighborhood Market.

"We want to make sure people on the north side of Starkville know which Walmart they can go to," Howell said. "That was one of the big goals we worked on this year."

Howell said the Boardtown South Route will now loop around from Louisville Street to Lynn Lane and Industrial Park Road to include the Emerson Family School and Salvation Army.

"The biggest change is that it's not going west anymore," Howell said.

Sportsplex Route and all the campus routes stayed mainly the same.

"The new route we have this year is the Wise Center Route," Howell said. "We have a new route that will take students from the center of campus, to the vet school, to the tennis court area below the vet school and then go back to campus."

The vet school was previously serviced by the Sportsplex Route, Howell said, but the new route was added to make the ride shorter for students.

The Golden Triangle Regional Airport Express will begin serving on Sundays after Aug. 15. The route has stops at The Mill and the Walmart Supercenter, and additional stops can be scheduled on campus or hotels along Highway 12, Howell said.

SMART also offers the Paratransit system, in which elderly and disabled in the community can schedule a pick up time with doctor's approval and be picked up at their home and be taken to and from doctor's appointments.

The GTR Airport Express runs seven days per week at each arrival and departure.

Campus routes run 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The Boardtown North Route runs 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. East Lee Route runs 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Boardtown South runs 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. Highway 12 runs 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. Sportsplex Express runs 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Old Main Express runs 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday.

For questions or more detailed route information and maps, call 662-325-5204 or visit www.smart.msstate.edu

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