The combined Platteville city taxi and UW–Platteville shuttle will apparently include a new taxicab operator.
After four years of operation, Top Hat, Inc., chose not to submit a proposal for 2015 taxi service, after providing taxi service for four years. Running, Inc., of Viroqua was the only bidder for the taxi service.
The current shuttle operator, Russ Stratton Buses of Cuba City, was the only bidder for the shuttle service, which is a separate contract from the taxi service for the first 7½ months of the combined service. The taxi contract takes effect Jan. 1, but the shuttle contract takes effect May 16. Both contracts could be extended through the end of 2019.
Director of Public Works Howard Crofoot said the taxi contract was “slightly higher than what I budgeted,” but the bus contract is “slightly lower.”
The city taxi and UWP shuttle are being combined in 2015 so the service can get more federal and state funding. That will allow some combination of a smaller city subsidy for the service and greater service.
Crofoot’s 2015 proposal extends taxi service to Sunday through Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. Shuttle service would run weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. during the UW–Platteville academic year, with some routes on Saturdays from 1 to 9 p.m., and some routes Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3:15 a.m. During the summer, the shuttle would run weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The shuttle service would expand to cover the entire city all year, instead of from the UW–Platteville campus to various points in the city during the academic year.
This level of service would mean the city would see its subsidy reduced to $1,500 to $1,600. The city match for 2015 is projected at almost $41,000.
“Basically there was no savings to the city at all,” said at-large Ald. Mike Denn.
“You could maximize savings to the city and university students by leveraging federal and state funds to reduce the match needed,” said Crofoot. The other option would be “approximately the same amount of match dollars” and “the same amount of dollars the university is putting in for its current services” to “improve and increase services.”
“If you’re talking about the shuttle bus all over the city of Platteville, I don’t see a lot of people riding that,” said Denn.
A draft of the agreement with UW–Platteville to operate the shuttle portion of the service is expected at the next Common Council meeting Monday.