GI City Council to sign new transit service contract

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island will be making a few changes in their public transportation this week. It could lead to more people being served each day.

Grand Island City Council will sign a new transit service contract with Crane Transportation. (Credit: Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)

The city's transit service contract with Hall County is coming to an end this month and they plan to sign a new one Tuesday with Crane Transportation. This change has been almost a decade in the making.

For 40 years the city was offering bus rides through the county for people who called and scheduled them. But when Grand Island passed 50,000 residents in the 2010 census and was labeled a Metropolitan Statistical Area, the federal government said they had to make a change.

The changes won't affect the riders, it's mostly the funding which the transportation is paid with.

"When we became an MSA, the federal government gave us a time limit to change the type of funding we were using," John Collins, GI Public Works Director, explained. "The types of funds we were using at the time was for rural transit. But once we became an MSA we had to use urban transit funds."

The federal requirements say urban transit funds have to be used at least when rides are in city limits. Collins says that's over 90 percent of the time