BY JEFF CLARK
An August 9 start-up date for an Indiana bus company has been postponed. Lawrence Transit System of Lawrence, Ind., announced Friday it would need additional time before it was ready to operate in Columbus. In a press release from LTS, director of operations Dorothy Dowdell said a lack of insurance was the cause for the delay.
“The project is currently on hold, due to the Insurance Co. not allowing the routes to begin without the shelters in certain areas,” Dowdell said via a press release. “Currently LTS and Columbus City officials are working on a resolution.”
Columbus City Attorney Jeff Turnage on Tuesday said Mayor Robert Smith had agreed to give the company the requested extension.
“From what I was told, the company’s insurance provider would not provide coverage unless the shelters were in place,” Turnage said. “I don’t see why this is a problem. I don’t see the liability, but I’m not a bus expert. They needed an additional 17 days to have the shelters shipped down and the mayor okayed the request.”
Turnage said the city requires LTS to have $1 million in liability and automobile coverage as part of its operation agreement.
LTS has been plagued with operation delays since the project was approved by the Columbus City Council in September 2012.
In July, the city agreed to a one-year contract allowing the bus company to lease city property to store its buses for $7,200. The city also agreed to install signs for the company, which have already been placed at the appropriate areas around town.
“At this point, I don’t know what to think about the bus service,” said Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem. “They had until August 9 and they missed it. I’ve been skeptical about the bus service for some time. I was very enthusiastic in the beginning because I thought it could be a good thing for Columbus. But with all of the obstacles and time restraints, I don’t have a good feeling about the bus service right now.”
Although the service has yet to begin operations, Dowdle released the following schedule information as part of the press release:
Route 1: (82/North Side) Leaving Lehmberg down Hwy 182 to Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King to 7th Avenue, 7th Avenue to Waterworks, Waterworks to 14th Street, 14th Street to Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King to 23rd Loop out to 14th Street, 14th Street to 20th Street, 20th Street to 7th Avenue, 7th Avenue to Military Road, Military Road to 18th, 18th to Hwy 45, to Malco Theater, to Walmart, to TJ Maxx.
Route 2: (S.Lehmberg/MUW) Leaving Lehmberg to William Roberts Road, William Roberts Road to Yorkville Road, Yorkville Road to Hwy 69, Hwy 69 to Airline Road, Airline Road to Bell Avenue, Bell Avenue to 15th Street South, 15th Street to College Street, College Street to 5th Avenue, 5th Avenue to 45, 45 to Malco Theater, to Walmart, to TJ Maxx.
Route 3: (N. Lehmberg /Hospital) Leaving Hwy 182 to Lehmberg Road, Lehmberg Road to Warpath, Warpath to Browder Street, Browder Street to Hwy 82, Hwy 82 to Gardner Blvd., Gardner Blvd to Hwy 50 to Waterworks Road, Waterworks Road to Martin Luther King, Martin Luther King to Military, Military to Bluecutt, Bluecutt to Leigh Drive, Leigh Drive to 5th Street, 5th Street to Leigh Drive, Leigh Drive to Bluecutt, Bluecutt to Hwy 45, Hwy 45 to Malco Theater, to Walmart, to TJ Maxx.
Express Route (EMCC)
Leaving TJ Maxx to the Sports Complex, Riverwalk, WIN Job Center, EMCC and will return in the same order.
The city has made parking available at the City Market for students who want to park and ride to EMCC.
One-Way Pass $2.50
All Day passes for the general public for $6.00
All Day Bus Pass for Seniors $5.00
Weekly Bus Pass $30.00-Seniors(60 and over) a 40% discount and students a 20% discount
Monthly Bus Pass $100.00-Seniors(60 and over) a 40% discount and students a 20% discount