- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MONROE, La. (AP) - Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he expects the city to enter into a contract with a management firm to run the city’s transit system by the end of May.

The News-Star reports (https://tnsne.ws/1k3i3iC ) funding for the current management firm, First Transit, expires on April 30. The city council has not renewed the contract.

However, Mayo says First Transit will remain in place for the foreseeable future while the city administration continues to work toward a new contract.

Though he declined to offer details into the negotiations, Mayo has been meeting with city council members over the last several months on different issues.

Mayo said he still prefers keeping First Transit. He says he is still waiting for a list of grievances the council members had against the system.

Because First Transit is not under contract, federal money cannot be used to pay for the firm’s services, which costs about $200,000 a year. Mayo has previously said the federal money likely would be used in other places within the system that currently require a subsidy from the city.

Mayo met with Public Works Director Tom Janway and Transit Director Marc Keenan on Monday to discuss how to separate federal and city funds to make sure First Transit is only being paid with city money.

Monroe Transit provides bus service for an estimated 1.2 million riders annually. It’s also the oldest public transportation system in America, according to its website.

“Of all the folks that ride our buses in a year’s time, there’s no question we need continuity in service. We certainly don’t need that deterred because of issues with the management company,” Mayo said.


Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com

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