06/03/04 — Applebus takes over reins at Gateway

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Applebus takes over reins at Gateway

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 3, 2004 2:02 PM

Changes are coming to the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation System. Beginning next month, buses and vans will be run by an independent contractor.

The Gateway board approved a contract Wednesday with Applebus Co.

Applebus will employ staff and drivers to run the buses and vans, as well as handle office work and schedule and dispatch vehicles. The company will also provide all types of insurance required and also maintain financial and operating records.

The Gateway Authority will continue to be responsible for all mechanical and service inspections and vehicle repairs.

"We've kept the contract pretty simple," said County Manager Lee Smith. "This is really a simple labor agreement."

City Manager Richard Slozak said there were a few technical issues to be worked out with the company, such as whether Applebus would pay bills directly or whether payments would first come through the Gateway Authority.

Smith said those details could be defined in a standard operating procedure.

County Commissioner Andy Anderson asked if Gateway could cancel the contract at the end of the three-year period without giving any justification.

County Finance Director Norman Ricks said that if the company didn't perform, the contract could be canceled by the authority at any time.

Gateway will pay an hourly rate to Applebus to run the rural and urban transit systems.

For the first year of the three-year contract, the urban side will cost $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.