Under terms of the $1.5 million annual contract, five to eight buses will be used vehicles from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. The COMET will provide the remaining buses from its existing fleet. The university will pay 100% of the cost of procuring and refurbishing the existing buses, according to a new release from the COMET.
By the spring of 2021, 12 new buses will replace the used vehicles. USC will pay 15% of a local match associated with the purchase of the new buses, with the remaining 85% of the cost coming from a Federal Transit Administration grant, according to the release.
Bus stops and shelters and other transit amenities will be maintained by the COMET, which anticipates adding nearly a million passenger trips and an additional 250,000 revenue vehicle miles. That could mean an increase of up to $500,000 in annual federal funding, the COMET said.
“The contract is a great example of two public entities leveraging their resources for the good of the taxpayers,” John Andoh, COMET executive director and CEO, said. “By joining together, both entities will have opportunities for increases in capital which will be poured right back into the community and continue to allow transportation in Columbia to grow.”
USC students and faculty will be able to ride the Carolina Shuttle for free. The buses will also be available to the public at the same fare as current COMET services.p