The Board of Regents on June 8 will consider handing over a University of Nebraska-Lincoln bus route between the city and east campuses to StarTran.
UNL operates four buses that run between the two campuses, while StarTran operates another four between the campuses through a contract with the university. The regents will consider paying $2 million a year for five years to StarTran to take over the university’s remaining portion of the route.
“The amount of service on the route will be the same,” said StarTran Manager Larry Worth. “It’s just that we’ll be operating the service.”
The City Council, which must approve the five-year agreement, is expected to consider the proposal at its June 18 meeting. The agreement includes the cost of buying five new buses, as well as the cost for drivers, fuel and maintenance, Worth said. If approved, the agreement would take effect in early 2013.
Dan Carpenter, director of Parking and Transit Services for UNL, said the university needed to replace several buses but decided to propose paying StarTran to operate the intercampus route instead of paying to replace its aging fleet. The university currently has a fleet of 14 buses.
“The buses are past their service life,” Carpenter said.
In 2010, Carpenter said it would cost UNL $360,000 for each new bus that it would need to replace an existing bus, each of which originally cost the university $100,000.
“We just don’t have that kind of capital right now,” he said at that time.
StarTran would operate buses on the intercampus route until 9 p.m. and during summers. However, it wouldn’t operate until 11:30 p.m. during the school year, as UNL’s fleet currently does on the intercampus route.
The university would continue to offer on-call van service on the north side of City Campus during the school year.
“I’m not sure, except for the color of the buses, anybody’s going to really notice that big of a difference,” Worth said.