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O.U.T. to be free a little bit longer.

Riding the Oxford-University Transit system will be free for a little longer.

The system’s governing board agreed this week to keep the community public bus service free until October 2009 if Oxford and the University of Mississippi provide additional $42,500 each.

Transit system manager Tim Lett says the system would expect lose 25 percent to 30 percent of its riders if fares are charged.

If a fare system is put in place next October, Lett says the transit system would expand its service.

Current bus service is provided on two routes, a Red Route that runs buses north and south through the community and a Blue Route that operates buses on an east-to-west path though Oxford and Ole Miss.