The owner of the Lawrence Bus Co. has cleared city hurdles to operate a taxicab service and is expected to compete for a contract to provide services to Kansas University students.
Chris Ogle, owner and general manager of the Lawrence Bus Co., last week was granted a license to operate a single cab in the city, City Clerk Ray Hummert said. Ogle may receive licenses for other taxi vehicles if he provides the make, model, weight and other specifications of the vehicles.
The Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to allow Ogle to receive a taxicab license last week over the objections of A-1 City Cab, the city's only operating taxi service.
Ogle applied for the taxicab license because he is seeking the contract for KU's "Safe Ride" program.
The program, sponsored by Student Senate, provides students a cab ride from anywhere in Lawrence to their homes free of charge.
The contract could be as much as $48,000 this year, KU Student Body President Brad Garlinghouse said. A-1, Lawrence Bus Co., and a Topeka transportation firm may be submitting bids for the contract, he said.
After bids are submitted, the senate's transportation board will recommend which vendor should be awarded the contract, Garlinghouse said.
The recommendation will be forwarded to the state's Office of Purchases, which will make the final decision on which vendor will receive the contract, said Gene Puckett, KU's director of purchasing.
Puckett said a decision on the contract could be made next week.
He said the transportation board's recommendation would have a strong influence on the state's decision.