05/02/07 — GATEWAY to operate transit system on its own again

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GATEWAY to operate transit system on its own again

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on May 2, 2007 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority will once again control its transit operations beginning July 1.

The GATEWAY board chose Monday not to renew its contract with Apple Bus, which has handled transportation operations for the past three years. Instead, GATEWAY Director Alan Stubbs said Goldsboro and Wayne County can see "substantial savings" by bringing the operations in-house.

"I know we can run things more efficiently with the same people," Stubbs said.

Apple Bus' contract allowed the company to charge GATEWAY a per-hour contracting fee. By running GATEWAY's daily operations independently, Stubbs said he believes GATEWAY can cut that cost dramatically.

Although Stubbs was hesitant to predict how much could be saved, GATEWAY board chairman Bruce Gates said it could be as much as $500,000.

"We feel confident in our director and we feel ready to do this at this time," Gates said.

But Stubbs added that there is much to do in the next two months. Most of GATEWAY's employees are currently on Apple Bus' payroll. Stubbs said the plan is to keep all of those employees, but each person will have to apply for their current position.

"It's just like starting a new business," he said.

While Stubbs and his staff are finalizing liability insurance for GATEWAY's vehicles and health insurance for its employees, current Apple Bus employees who want to switch over to GATEWAY will receive background checks, new applications and packets explaining Wayne County employee benefits.

In other business, Stubbs told board members that GATEWAY has seven new Ford vans. Although only four are being used, the other three are expected to be operating soon. The vans were bought to replace several Dodge vans, which Stubbs said needed constant repair and maintenance.

All of the surplus vans and other surplus material will be sold at www.govdeals.com, which is an online site that allows local governments to its surplus property to any interested person.

The next GATEWAY meeting will be held June 13 at 3 p.m. in the mayor's conference room on the second floor of Goldsboro City Hall at 200 N. Center St.

For any questions about GATEWAY's routes or to schedule van services, call the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority at 736-1374.