Hattiesburg employees can take free rides

By BUSTER WOLFE,

All Hattiesburg city employees will be able to ride the Hub City Transit routes free of charge beginning next Monday, Mayor Toby Barker announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes after city officials announced last week that the city would be running a Gold Route around the University of Southern Mississippi campus that ties into a city route. All USM faculty, staff and students will ride for free with a university ID.

The Green Route (West Fourth Street) will not only service the West Fourth Street Corridor, but it also creates a more fluid connection of transit between the northwestern parts of Hattiesburg to South Hattiesburg’s neighborhoods in Palmer’s Crossing, along Broadway and Country Club Drive. It also creates primary points of access to health care and groceries.

All upgrades include:

• Two new routes, increasing the total to seven.

• Two new major transfer stations on the Gold Route increases the total to eight major stations, making it easier for riders to travel across the city at more points of connectivity.

• Modification of the original five routes to expand the service area.

City officials suggest all citizens who currently use Hub City Transit to visit hattiesburgms.com/hct to see all route maps for updated changes that will take effect July 2.

• Basic branding changes that will also take effect on July 2, include:

• Routes will be named by color: Blue Route (Hardy Street), Brown Route (Hwy 42), Gold Route (Southern Miss), Green Route (West Fourth Street), Orange Route (Broadway), Purple Route (Palmer’s) and Red Route (Country Club Road).

• Buses will be wrapped to reflect the new brand, as well as clearly identifiable signage at all bus stops and in bus shelters.

Buses run from 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, except on New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. HCT will give advance notice of the days the system will be shut down.

The fares to ride the buses are: Regular Fare - 50 cents, Children (Ages 5 - High School) - 25 cents, Senior Citizens (62 years and older) - 25 cents, Disabled with ID - 25 cents, HCT ID and Medicare – 25 cents, Southern Miss ID – FREE and City of Hattiesburg Employee ID – FREE.