Citibus Not Cutting Saturday Service or Routes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/10/03

Citibus Not Cutting Saturday Service or Routes

On Thursday the Lubbock City Council voiced their support for public transportation and they want to see it continue at full throttle.

The council directed Citibus to use the last of it's federal funding for next year.

Every year, the government provides $1.5 million in federal funding to Citibus. However, since Lubbock's population has risen above the 200,000 mark, the feds yanked the money away last September and Citibus was faced with making some tough decisions, including cutting services and routes.

But, this is may not be a story with a happy ending. Councilman Frank Morrison supports the idea, but also called it a big gamble.

Right now, Congressman Randy Neugebauer is in Washington trying to change laws that would keep bringing the money to Citibus. But so far, there are no guarantees. Citibus reps are crossing their fingers that the Congressman can pull through. "Then if it doesn't happen, what the council was saying, they will find other money in their budget and do some re-organization in their budget to keep the service operational," said Transit Board Advisory Chair-Elect, Jay Jacobus.

So, the council tossed around possible funding back-up plans, which included community service block grants. Is this a gamble? Some of the council seems to think so, but Councilman Gary Boren thinks they can find the money to help if the federal money comes to halt.

Last year, more than 600,000 people rode Citibus and it costs $2 for day passes. Citibus says those fees won't go up either.

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