April 18, 2019  

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The University of Southern Mississippi, City of Hattiesburg Announce Addition of “Gold Route” to Hub City Transit System

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Hub City Transit's new Gold Route will include 14 stops on The University of Southern Mississippi campus. The new route goes into effect July 2. (Photo by Kat VanSkiver, University Communications)

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the City of Hattiesburg have announced the details of a new Hub City Transit route that would provide convenient and safe transportation on the University’s Hattiesburg campus, as well as connect to the city’s existing network of transit routes.

Hub City Transit’s “Gold Route” will include 14 stops on campus, two of which will offer opportunities to transfer to the city’s existing transit system. Location of the stops can be found at https://www.usm.edu/gold-route. Gold Route buses will be driven by City of Hattiesburg employees, and will be Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, as well as include the ability to secure and carry up to two bicycles.

The three-year agreement is scheduled to begin on July 2, 2018. Transportation via the city’s bus transit system will not result in additional charges to USM students or employees. The University’s students, faculty and staff will be able to utilize the system free of charge with valid USM identification.

“The University of Southern Mississippi is committed to providing students with resources and services to make their Southern Miss experience the best it can be,” said USM Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dee Dee Anderson. “This new partnership makes it not only easier for our students to navigate the Hattiesburg campus, but also to travel into the community for jobs, internships and services.”

“Providing transportation to our faculty, staff and students on and around campus is the first point of connectivity,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “But, connecting them to our city as a whole is the bigger picture and this route plays a vital role in that.”

Buses will operate on Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., while the University Police Department (UPD) will remain on call to transport students to any location on the Hattiesburg campus on evenings and weekends, or in safety or emergency situations at any time. Previously, UPD personnel also served as a transportation option for students at any time upon request.

"From the student perspective, the new transit route is exciting,” said USM Student Government Association President McKenna Stone. “Students will have access to convenient, safe transportation all around campus, and getting around the city will be even easier. I can't wait to hop on and explore my Hattiesburg home!"

Two buses will simultaneously operate on the one-square-mile campus and are expected to provide a frequency of service in 20 minutes or less during normal operating hours. The buses are also expected to provide safe and efficient transportation from the University’s perimeter parking lots to stops in all parts of campus. 

“Our students, faculty and staff frequently park in lots on the perimeter of campus but move from one building to another throughout the day, said USM Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Allyson Easterwood. “This partnership with the City of Hattiesburg allows the University to link our buildings and parking lots with a sustainable and affordable campus-wide transportation system that will enhance safety for our Hattiesburg campus community.”     

The process for a new route began in October with a series of public hearings scheduled for comment and review by faculty, staff, students and the general public. The route was also presented before community and University stakeholders. Feedback from both were used to update the route for best use.
“This is years of work coming to fruition, some of which began when I was in student leadership here at Southern Miss,” said Ward 1 Councilman Jeffrey George. “Without a doubt, this is a major step forward in solidifying Hattiesburg’s position as Mississippi’s premier college town.”