“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 and highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates.
Every City of Columbus department head was recently asked some questions in regard to their department, the current fiscal year budget and plans for their department in the upcoming fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024).
Columbus Area Transit is under the direction of the public property director
DEPARTMENT: Columbus Area Transit
DEPARTMENT HEAD: Doug Moore
(Interview conducted in September 2023)
Q: How many people are in your department?
A: Three full-time employees.
Q: How long have you been head of your department?
A: Since 2007.
Q: How do you think things went for your department in fiscal year 2022-2023?
A: We had a good year with ridership remaining steady, with slight increases, still suffering some of the effects of COVID. Receive many calls and comments about my staff. Patrons are impressed with how friendly and dedicated they are to make sure their ride is as safe and comfortable as possible. They go the extra mile.
Q: What were at least two of your department’s biggest accomplishments in the last fiscal year and (why?)?
A: The drivers completed their safety training and the new gas pump renovations were completed. The renovations were mandated by the Nebraska Fire Marshal’s Office.
Q: What are some of the problems your department faced in the last fiscal year and how did you overcome them?
A: Working with the Nebraska Department of Transportation on the annual audit has been a challenge. With recent issues at other transit systems in the state, the record keeping we provide to NDOT has become more complicated. CAT staff and the Finance Department continue to work together to provide the information that NDOT needs. They are requesting information from past years that can be difficult because NDOT didn’t require that information in the past.
Q: What are at least 3 major things you’re wanting your department to accomplish in fiscal year 2023-2024 and how is the new budget going to improve that?
A: Working with United Way and many other organizations in Columbus and the surrounding area about possibly expanding service outside the city limits. NDOT has been surveying the area about services that residents would like to see. The top priorities are service to local factories, service outside the city limits, and possible expanded hours. NDOT is developing costs for these different options. The group meets monthly to discuss progress and any changes that need to be made.
Q: What can the public expect from your department in the next fiscal year?
A: Continued discussions with local partners about possible expansion of services and input from city residents.
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