Springfield extends bus contract

Springfield News-Sun

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014
By Staff Writer Michael Cooper

SPRINGFIELD, OH — First Transit Inc. will operate the Springfield City Area Transit service through 2015.

Springfield City Commissioners approved the one-year extension with the company by a unanimous vote at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

The company has served as the city’s bus operator since July 2011. The city also extended the contract last November, according to public documents.

First Transit manages about 20 employees and runs about 25 buses for the city. The service averages about 22,000 passengers per month on its 11 fixed routes. The company could not be reached this week for comment.

The city pays about $36,000 per year for the service. The company can also receive up to $19,000 annually in incentives based on contract revenue, advertising and expense control, said Mark Beckdahl, Springfield finance director .

The city is satisfied with First Transit and was not looking elsewhere, Beckdahl said.

Springfield Bus Company previously ran the service for more than four decades, but the city opted to work with First Transit in 2011. The company offered a savings of about $177,000, including $50,000 from the city’s general fund — which Beckdahl said is still about the same today.

“They offer us a savings,” Beckdahl said.

In other news, the city commission approved its meeting calendar for 2015. The commission will meet on Tuesdays in the City Forum with the exception of the city retreat on March 6 and 7 at the City Service Center and the second of two city budget meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 18.