Possible CitiBus/MetroLINK management team-up could create more efficient system

It's been a year full of changes for the Davenport CitiBus system, and the changes aren't stopping now. Davenport city leaders are about to discuss a management agreement with MetroLINK.

Riders of CitiBus are still getting used to route changes that started in July, and the possible management agreement may seem small, but it could have a big impact on Quad Cities public transportation.

It was about a year ago when Davenport city leaders announced their intention to change up the route system for CitiBus to improve efficiency. At that time, there was also discussion on who should really manage the entire busing system. The management contract for CitiBus is set to expire in September of this year, and that prompted talks of getting MetroLINK more involved in the process.

"The reality is that the call centers will be the same. So, when one person calls in and wants to go from a CitiBus system to a MetroLINK system, one person would be able to help them with all those routes," Davenport Finance Director Brandon Wright said.

Even though MetroLINK wouldn't run the entire system, it would be the start of a process that could lead to a bigger cooperative Quad Cities transportation system in the coming years.

"What they'll notice is really the advantages of a consolidated system without noticing that the world around them has changed. At least initially, the buses will still say CitiBus on them. The routes will stay the same as they are right now," Wright said.

Wright says this plan would streamline the route information process for commuters, offering a more convenient system to people who use the busing system on both sides of the river. He also says this is the start of a three year process of creating a more collaborative transportation system in the Quad Cities.

The discussion on this management agreement between CitiBus and MetroLINK will take place during the Davenport City Council meeting on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 starting at 5:30 p.m. at Davenport City Hall.