At the last city commission meeting, elected officials voted 5-0 to authorize the Tallahassee city manager to negotiate and execute a contract with FSU on a 10-year Seminole Express and U-Pass agreement and for staff to initiate the procurement of 15 buses compatible with the City’s electric bus system.
The contract will provide an estimated $53.2 million in revenue over the term of the agreement to the city to subsidize the routes providing service to the FSU students living off campus.
Under the proposed terms, FSU will pay an hourly rate for service (estimate of 45,000 service hours) of $76.19 in year one, which amounts to $3,428,550, with an annual three percent increase.
The U-Pass rate of $0.71 per trip is proposed in the first year. Based on the 2017-2018 U-Pass ridership, the projected revenue from the U-Pass is an additional $136,000 for the first year of the agreement. Beginning in year two, FSU will pay an additional hourly rate per year to purchase 15 electric buses dedicated to the Seminole Express service.
In order to purchase these vehicles upfront, StarMetro will work with the Treasurer-Clerk and Resource Management offices to evaluate and identify the most financially viable option. Capital purchases are often funded through grants, the internal loan pool, short-term leases or long-term bond financing.
In 2017, FSU advertised invitation to negotiate for FSU transit services. After on-going negotiations, StarMetro received a Statement of Intent to award the transit services contract to the City of Tallahassee effective May 24, 2018.
Based on the staff presentation, the request promotes public safety, decreases traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, the action will make the Seminole Express the first all-electric bus fleet on any campus in the country, signaling the City and University’s commitment to leadership in environmental sustainability.