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Archive for Friday, November 12, 1999

CITY BUS SYSTEM PLANNERS HAVE BUSY MONTH AHEAD

November 12, 1999

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Decisions loom on selecting contractors and recommending ADA policies for new fixed-route bus system.

The next several weeks are going to be busy for people working on the city's new fixed-route bus system.

Between now and the end of the year, city staff and the Public Transit Advisory Committee will start making recommendations about selecting private contractors for operating, marketing and supplying the bus system.

They also will need to make policy decisions on issues like complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the placement of bus stops.

The committee got an update Thursday on the status of those issues.

Aaron Bartlett, a transportation planner for the city, said consultants K.A. Associates still are negotiating with groups for the disabled on a policy for ADA compliance.

"They're still in the process of trying to wade through the possibilities," Bartlett said.

Among the issues is whether the bus system's complementary "paratransit" service will provide door-to-door service, as riders of the current Kaw Regional Transit system are accustomed to, or "curb-to-curb" service as the consultants recommended.

Another issue is whether the city will use the minimum ADA standards to determine who is eligible for paratransit service, or expand eligibility to include the elderly or others who may not meet ADA criteria but still might have trouble accessing the fixed-route bus system.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said the ADA standards would be back on the committee's agenda when it meets Nov. 18.

The committee also learned Thursday that in addition to getting eight proposals from companies interested in operating the bus system, seven proposals were received for the marketing contract.

Those firms are: Gould Evans; GLPA; Pilgrim Page; Flory Design; North Company; Lane and Gregory; and Luminous Neon Inc.

Proposals are due next week from companies offering to sell the actual vehicles for the bus system.

In addition, the city has received 30 applications, and narrowed the field down to 11 finalists, for the job of transportation administrator, a new position being created within the city manager's office.

Wildgen said he expects it will take his staff about 30 days to review the proposals for operators, suppliers and marketing firms. He hopes to have a report ready for the transit committee's review in December or early January.

-- Peter Hancock's phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is phancock@ljworld.com.

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