As part of a statewide effort to improve connectivity between modes of transportation, MoDOT is excited to announce the Columbia—Jefferson City Express Bus Study to explore potential transit service between downtown Columbia, Jefferson City Amtrak, and intermediate points. At this time, data is being collected on the needs of central Missouri residents, employees, and visitors, in order to develop transit service that best matches these travel patterns. The study is a regional effort involving collaboration with local transit partners; community centers, hospitals, local attractions, and places of employment; local business organizations; and residents and visitors like you. Find out more about how you can help contribute to the study below.
In 2022, MoDOT’s Transit division began research to develop a comprehensive transit connectivity plan, exploring the existing state of transit connections and areas for improvement on a statewide level. Specifically, research was conducted into connections from local communities into regional “hubs” (including St. Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, Warrensburg/Sedalia, Jefferson City/Columbia, Hannibal, St. Louis, and Poplar Bluff), and between regional “hubs” (for instance, travel between Hannibal and St. Louis using public transportation). This included a statewide review of local transit agencies, Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner, Southwest Chief, and Texas Eagle trains, and intercity bus providers Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, and Burlington Trailways.
Each region was identified with regards to specific strengths and areas for improvement. One potential area for improvement noted within the Jefferson City/Columbia region was the lack of public transit service between the two major population centers along the U.S. 63 corridor. This region is a fast-growing area with several cities, home to at least four major universities in addition to numerous state agencies and large employers which result in significant numbers of daily commuters between the two cities. Amtrak currently serves downtown Jefferson City four times a day, connecting visitors to the region from destinations including Kansas City, St. Louis, and points nationwide. Greyhound provides intercity bus service twice a day through downtown Columbia on its Kansas City—St. Louis route. The fast-growing Columbia Regional Airport provides direct connections to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth. However, despite the major population centers and nationwide travel connections, at the current time, there is only one transit provider operating between Jefferson City and Columbia. This service provides a bus connection once each month between the two cities for passengers who call at least 24 hours ahead, rendering the service ineffective for a significant share of mid-Missouri residents, commuters, and visitors.
PHASE 2: SURVEY
In order to better understand travel needs along the U.S. 63 corridor, MoDOT has recently commenced a public survey asking about current travel preferences and desires for a future bus route between Columbia and Jefferson City. All members of the public, whether residing, working, and/or visiting the mid-Missouri region, are invited to contribute their perspectives.