A contract for Kansas University's "Safe Ride" taxicab program was awarded Monday to the Lawrence Bus Co., which recently was licensed to start a second taxi service in Lawrence.
State and KU officials today declined to reveal the amount of the contract because they said it had not yet been signed.
But KU Student Body President Brad Garlinghouse has said the figure could be as much as $48,000.
The "Safe Ride" program, sponsored by Student Senate, provides KU students a cab ride from anywhere in Lawrence to their homes free of charge.
The contract with the bus company was given final approval by the state's Office of Purchasing after being recommended by the KU Transportation Board, said Fran Welch, a state contracting officer.
A-1 City Cab, which has operated the only taxicab service in the city since 1988, submitted a bid for the contract along with the Lawrence Bus Co. and a Topeka transportation firm, said Shirley Shackelford, A-1 co-owner.
The Lawrence City Commission on July 21 approved a request by Chris Ogle, owner and general manager of the bus company, to obtain a taxicab license.
Representatives of A-1 spoke against the license request, saying their business would be hurt if they were not awarded the KU contract. A-1 had contracted with KU for the "Safe Ride" program for the past three years.
Garlinghouse said at the city commission meeting that the student senate had experienced some problems with A-1 and also was seeking lower rates for the service.
Ogle has obtained a license for at least one taxicab. He said he plans to add a few more vehicles for the service.
Ogle told city commissioners that in addition to serving KU, he planned to provide some taxi services in the city.