05/25/04 — Gateway passes budget with little fanfare

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Gateway passes budget with little fanfare

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on May 25, 2004 1:59 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority passed its annual budget Monday with little fanfare. No one showed to make public comments.

The total budget, including both the rural and urban sides, comes to $1.9 million. The budget is a little higher than last year since the authority is scheduled to buy two replacement buses for $569,800.

Full-time and part-time salaried employees with Gateway will receive a 5 percent increase, but the board agreed on a hiring freeze until Applebus Co. begins running the system. Applebus also manages the transit systems in Edgecombe, Wilson and Nash counties and has been hired to run Gateway.

The only exception to the freeze would be hiring essential bus drivers, if necessary. As City Manager Richard Slozak explained, the freeze would only be effective until Apple has the opportunity to review the system and to see what personnel it needs.

Gateway approved a proposal in March from Applebus Co. to manage the buses and vans. The financial details are not final, but board members were given a contract Monday to review. Gateway will pay an hourly rate for the rural and urban transit systems. For the first year of the three-year contract, the urban side will be $25.30 per hour for each bus and will go up to $27.36 per hour the final year. The system runs three buses.

On the rural side, the cost will be $17.73 per hour for each van for the first year and will go up to $19.18 by the third year.

The county has around 25 vans, Slozak said, but there are plans to cut that number.

Applebus will employ and maintain staff and drivers, as well as handle office work, scheduling and dispatching vehicles. The company will also provide all types of insurance required and also maintain financial and operating records.

Gateway will be responsible for all mechanical and service inspections and vehicle repairs.

The board is scheduled to vote on the contract on June 2.