By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Council Approves Transportation Plan


February 15, 2019

Don Ogle

Sidney officials are working to keep its transportation system intact. Part of that system is the Sidney Stage Coach, which makes regularly scheduled rounds of the city each hour.

The Sidney City Council Tuesday approved continuing its public transportation program.

The decision will mean the City will need to find $25,000 to cover the loss of support from the Cheyenne County Visitors Committee. The Visitors Committee withdrew its support of the bus system at the end of 2018, citing the funds do not fit in the parameters of tourism.

Transportation Supervisor Dave Doty said the agreement traces back to 2010 with the Visitors Committee agreeing to $25,000 annual support. He added the City historically seeks funding from the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDR) to help with the cost of the program. This year, the NDR is asking for a two-year budget plan.

The public transportation program is projected to cost $328,450 annually, with an annual revenue from ridership of $18,500. Projecting a two-year budget, Doty said the program will cost $645,300; a $36,000 revenue results in a $609,300 deficit.

Doty said the busses average about 59 riders per day, 1,350 per month. The Dial-A-Ride costs $1.25 per one-way trip in downtown Sidney and the residential area of Sidney, and $2.25 one-way to the Interstate 80 business area. The Stage Line is $1.25 per one-way trip. Prepaid punch cards are available for the Dial-A-Ride; 11 rides for $12.50. Doty said Dial-A-Ride is available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The fixed route Stage Line operates 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Doty said preschool children are not charged for rides.

"We'd like to keep operating like we are," Doty said.

Keeping operations in the current plan would require the City to find $25,000 annually to replace the funds formerly provided by the Visitors Committee.

City Manager Ed Sadler said the city's demographics are changing, and the City should leave the current program in place to "see how it grows." Additionally, 86 percent of the program's costs are covered by the NDR and 14 percent by local sources.


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