County proceeds on purchasing additional Roadrunner buses
GERING — Scotts Bluff County will proceed toward purchasing two new buses for its Tri-City Roadrunner bus line, after getting an update from Roadrunner administrative aid Curt Richter at their Sept. 17 meeting.
The commissioners had signed the resolution to purchase the buses at their May 21 meeting. While the total cost for both buses is just a little less than $120,000, the county’s share of the cost is only 10 percent, coming at a total of $11,904. The state will cover another 10 percent, and the remainder is paid for by the federal government. The commissioners signed the agreement during the meeting.
Richter said Roadrunner expects to get the buses within a year.
“We’re hoping for less than a year,” he said. “We’re hoping six to nine months.”
Commissioner Sherry Blaha asked about Roadrunner’s ridership, which Richter said is averaging between 1,800 and 2,000 riders per month. He specified that the service had 1,869 riders July and 1,990 in August.
Commissioner Mark Reichert asked as to the progress of building bus stops. Richter said Aulick Industries has built and donated a military-themed stop to the city of Scottsbluff, which is currently looking for a location, but added that Roadrunner is prioritizing route changes for under-served areas ahead of dedicated bus stops.
Commissioner Ken Meyer inquired about the service’s ability to provide transportation after hours for special events. Richter explained that staffing is the biggest hurdle for that.
“It would come down to finding a way to pay wages and operating expenses for the bus,” he said.