UA Bus Charters Will Not Be Available in Next Fiscal Year

Charter buses have served a different role than Razorback Transit buses.
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Charter buses have served a different role than Razorback Transit buses.

At this time, UA Bus Charters is being phased out as a charter option at the University of Arkansas, and it will no longer be in existence when fiscal year 2021 begins on July 1.

The plan to end charter service has been in the works for many weeks and predates the recent coronavirus concerns.

In the past, some people have confused Transit and Parking's charter buses with the Razorback Transit buses that are seen on campus each day, but the two are not the same.

Razorback Transit buses provide transportation for the public in which no fare is required of the passengers. UA Bus Charters, on the other hand, provides specific charter runs at a cost to the department or group that secures their services.

The elimination of UA Bus Charters will not have any effect on the operation of Razorback Transit, which will continue to run extensive routes on campus and throughout Fayetteville.

According to Transit and Parking Director Gary Smith, UA Bus Charters was started more than ten years ago because it addressed a great need.

"We could not legally charge for people to charter Razorback Transit buses," he said, "so we started a separate charter service because several departments on campus needed to secure transportation at various times. But a lot has changed since then. Back when we started providing chartered buses, there was limited charter service available in the area, but that's not the case anymore."

UA Bus Charters (called Razorback Charters in the beginning) started in September of 2009 with a separate purpose than Razorback Transit, but it still operated within the Transit and Parking Department.

Now, however, because there are several options in the area for securing a bus charter, Transit and Parking no longer needs to provide a charter service.

Departments on campus who have used this service have already been notified of this, in plenty of time to allow them to consider other charter options as they make plans for the next fiscal year. Transit and Parking does not endorse any one charter company, leaving that decision to each department, but there are a few to consider.

Three charter services providers (other than UA Bus Charters) have been active in the area: Dynasty Transportation, Pinnacle Car Services, and Village Travel.  Any department or organization on campus is free to contact any of those companies or to search for other options in the region.

Those with questions may contact AJ Bellard at UA Bus Charters by phoning 573 479-7913 or by emailing him at ajbellar@uark.edu.

Contacts

David Wilson, communications director
Transit and Parking
573-575-6089, dbw010@uark.edu

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