Purdue to retain transportation services in house

September 13, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A financial analysis of external proposals and internal options shows Purdue University will spend less money by continuing to offer transportation services to campus customers even with the cost of relocating the operation.

"Our Transportation Service committee looked at external proposals and internal options and concluded the most feasible, efficient, safe and cost-effective method of providing necessary services is to continue to do it ourselves," said Robert McMains, Purdue vice president for physical facilities.

A request for proposals, developed with assistance from the committee, asked vendors to address some or all of four major activities: rental fleet, charter coach and bus, vehicle maintenance and shop service, and fuel. Cost was a key factor, but safety, access to services, availability and flexibility also were important criteria.

Nine proposals were received: one response for all four components, two responses for the fleet rental component, three responses for the coach/bus component, and three responses for the service component of the proposal, McMains said.

The financial analysis concluded that providing transportation services in-house is less expensive, even with the cost of a new building or the remodeling of existing buildings, than if one firm or a combination of outside firms were to perform the four service components.

The relocation of transportation services is made necessary by the coming U.S. Highway 231 project, which will cut through the current Transportation Service compound, and the expansion of Harrison Street, which will require the facility's demolition.

The committee recommended a permanent replacement facility for the long term and developed a transition plan for facility needs for the short term.

The transition plan, which will be finalized and begin implementation this fall for expected completion in 2011, calls for relocation of transportation operations to existing campus facilities.

"We anticipate that the transition plan will allow us to utilize existing facilities while minimizing the effect on campus customers," McMains said. "As we look at resources, this is the best and most reasonable option in the short term while we continue to evaluate the recommendations and feasibility of a longer-term solution."

Writers:    Chris Sigurdson, 765-496-2644, sig@purdue.edu

                    Julie Rosa, 765-494-2036, jrosa@purdue.edu

Source:     Robert McMains, 765-494-8000, remcmains@purdue.edu