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City gives transit system deadline for service

COLUMBUS — The city of Columbus has given Lawrence Transit System 30 days to get buses moving in the city.

Otherwise, city officials say its contract with LTS is null and void.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that the council voted 3-2 this week for the 30-day extension. The extension runs out Dec. 6.

Council member Bill Gavin opposed the extension. Gavin previously supported the bus service when a contract was approved in September 2012. He said the company has had ample time to get service started with no results.

“If they can’t get their house in order in a year and a half, which is what we’ve been dealing with to even get the buses here, I think you’re going to end up with routes not being run and unfulfilled dreams and requests by citizens. I think it’s going to be a big problem that we as councilmen and you (Robert Smith) as the mayor are going to hear from,” Gavin said.

Smith said no matter what the outcome, he expects to hear feedback from supporters and opponents of the move to bring in the bus service.

Other council members said company’s commitment was enough for them to grant the extension.

Using in-kind services from the city, the company has placed signs where the bus stops would be, but no shelters have been erected, nor have any buses themselves been brought to the city.

Dorothy Dowdell, liaison between LTS’ main offices in Indiana and community leaders in Columbus and Columbus services coordinator, said in August that upon starting, the service would create 20 jobs and the number could grow to 75.

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