Mississippi State will announce Tuesday [Oct. 2] a more than $2 million federal grant to support an integrated transit system connecting the university campus and City of Starkville.
Along with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the City of Starkville, Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors and Greater Starkville Development Partnership will be involved with implementing the new system which will increase transit options on campus and throughout the city.
The 11:30 a.m. press conference will take place at Leo Seal M-Club atop Davis Wade Stadium's Turman Field House. Joining MSU President Mark E. Keenum on the program will be North Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President Marvel Howard.
Labeled "Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit" or SMART, the new system will include three scheduled routes: a city-campus, city circular and Sportsplex connectors. Route stops will include retail and grocery stores, housing and other city venues. Previously, the university had operated two "flag and ride" routes with no set schedule.
Distributed through MDOT, the grant includes more than $800,000 for transit operations and approximately $1.5 million for the purchase of up to 12 buses to serve the routes.
"This provision of convenient, timely transportation between key areas of our campus and the city will definitely enhance overall quality of life for our students and Starkville residents," Keenum said. "This system will provide affordable transportation and reduce traffic congestion, while also decreasing our area's carbon footprint."
For more information about the press conference, contact Harriet Laird at 662-325-7460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.