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Public transit company to petition commission for buses, stops

COLUMBUS — The company getting ready to offer public transit services in Columbus is asking the local Historic Preservation Commission to let it locate five bus stops and shelters within Columbus historic districts.

Lawrence Transit System, based in Lawrence, Ind., is a private company wanting to bring buses to the city. The company’s director of Columbus operations, Dorothy Dowdell, is scheduled to meet with the commission on Thursday.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that Lawrence Transit System needs approval from the commission and city council to install the bus stops and shelters.

Lawrence Transit System’s original deadline to begin operations was Aug. 9. That was pushed to Aug. 26 after Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said some of the bus stops required shelters.

City officials said Aug. 26 deadline was taken off the table after it was discovered Historic Preservation Commission and council approval was required before there could be any stops or shelters in the historic district.

Two of the five locations require shelters to be installed before operations can begin per MDOT regulations.

“Technically, it’s only two stops,” Dowdell said, “but to avoid having to go through this entire process later for the other three corners, if we get the corners approved now we can go ahead and install them.”

The city has approved a 12-month contract for the public transportation system, which is being funded with grants. Bus routes have not been announced.

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