SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Many people in Springfield rely on City Utilities buses to get places. Some because they don't have a car and some because they just to avoid the cost of gas.
Now, there is being a study conducted to see if improvements can be made to the current system and even if the areas outside the city limits would benefit from expanded services.
"I ride the bus pretty daily," Andrea Koop, a daily user of the bus system, said.
"This is my primary mode of transportation," Gary Horchem, another daily patron of the CU bus service, said.
For many riders it's the way to get around town.
"This is my only source of transportation due to me being visually impaired," said Horchem.
He has been riding the bus for years and says the system is good for right now, but for the future, he'd like to see some improvements.
"We need longer buses," said Horchem. "The ones we have now were good 10 years ago when the ridership was low, but ridership has increased dramatically."
He's not alone.
"Sometimes the buses are extremely full...I'd like to see it where it runs a little bit more," said Koop.
Now a study is being conducted by the Ozark Transportation Organization and City Utilities to not only expand services in the city, but regionally as well.
"We often hear, you know, could we get a bus out here, we would use it, that's part of what prompted us," said Ozark Transpotation Organization Executive Director Sara Edwards. "We asked different cities, would you be interested and unamiously they all came back and said yeah, we'd like to partner with you."
So, OTO will be holding public opinion meetings this week to find out all the things that current and potential users would like to see done to get a better idea make potential improvements.
"We're trying to gauge interest of the public, we're trying to determine how much it costs, we're trying to say, is there some way that sticks out that we might fund this," said Edwards.
Helping current and potentially future riders get around town and possibly the region much easier and faster.
"I think expansion would help the buses a lot more, I think it would bring more riders in...I think it would be a big help," said Koop.
"I think it would benefit the region a lot," Horchem added.