EDMOND — Last minute action by the Edmond City Council this week makes way for the start of the city’s new bus service to begin July 1. Citylink is the name chosen for the city-owned transit system. Council members approved contracts to lease temporary buses to be used until new buses can be purchased with $600,000 in federal stimulus money. Two 36-seat buses will be leased from CoachCrafters Inc. for $3,500 a month for the Edmond Express route that will make 12 roundtrips daily to downtown Oklahoma City and the state Capitol area. The 1997 buses will be equipped with a wheelchair ramp, said Shannon Entz, the city’s community development manager. A minimum three-month lease will cost the city $26,000, which includes a refundable $5,000 deposit. Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority will lease six paratransit vehicles to Edmond for $200 each per month. City officials will be required to purchase tires for the six vehicles and then remount the old tires when the buses are returned at the end of the lease, Entz said. The tires will cost the city $5,000. These six vehicles will be used for the local routes and off-route service for the disabled, Entz said. Council members have budgeted $900,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1 for its transit system. McDonald Transit and Associates, McDonald Transit, an employee-owned company of Fort Worth, Texas, will operate the system. Drivers have been hired and are in training this week. A manager and office manager also have been hired. Edmond doesn’t have the $600,000 federal stimulus money at this time, Entz said. The money is American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that have been allocated to the region from the Federal Transit Administration. The parking authority received the region’s $10 million allocation and has agreed to grant Edmond’s request for $600,000. An award letter is not available at this time.
UCO transit routesCouncil members also approved a transportation service agreement with the University of Central Oklahoma for $172,767 for the college’s portion of the transit system. University officials will pay $14,397.25 a month for bus service in and around the campus. "This service is considerably different,” Entz said. "There are different routes that will be available to more students.” University officials helped design the routes and hours of service. Entz said they will be paying less per hour and offering an additional 1,200 hours of service compared to the old Broncho Bus service. The new bus service is free to riders.
City’s community development manager