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Increased OUT budget has effect

The Oxford University Transit board approved a $5.3 billion budget this week, up from $3.7 million last year.

The increase in funds will allow for the purchase of seven new buses and the start of two new routes by October.

We hope the increase in buses and routes will allow more people, and Ole Miss students, to take advantage of public transportation. Each year Oxford’s roads get more congested, especially on campus and Jackson Avenue. The increased number of vehicles and routes will encourage more people to ride the bus and stay off the roads. This becomes especially important as new residents move to Lafayette County and more students apply and commit to Ole Miss.

We are also glad a Safe Ride late-night route has been added to the transport system that can take students from the Square to campus. This is sure to decrease driving while under the influence and increases the safety measures provided to Ole Miss students.

OUT’s numbers reached 1.3 million riders last year and officials say they expect the number to increase to 1.7 this year. We hope 1.7 million people will take advantage of Oxford’s public transportation this year, decreasing traffic congestion in our town and on campus.