UF Transit Services Agreement


In March 2024, University of Florida officials notified City of Gainesville leaders of their plans to let the current contract for Regional Transit System (RTS) services expire June 30, 2024 and proposed a month-to-month agreement thereafter.

Since then, City leaders and UF officials have agreed to extend RTS service through Dec. 31, 2024 as negotiations continue.

UF’s proposal in the amount of $570,000/month or $6.84 million/year would total about half of the current budgeted $13.7 million received by RTS in the form of bus service revenue from UF. This would result in severe reductions to RTS service both on, and off, campus.

Historically, the City has negotiated 3-year contracts with flexible RTS service based on input and approval from the UF Parking and Transportation Committee. City leaders hope to negotiate an annual contract instead for continued RTS transit services. 

RTS Agreement News


Is the City undercharging UF for bus service?

The evidence provided by UF shows the City may be undercharging for service. The UF Campus Transit Study prepared by a consultant hired by the university found the following: “RTS provides service that is cheaper than the average for its peer systems in terms of cost per service-hour. Cost per service hour is the primary basis for the current contract and an industry standard. To this end, it is unlikely that insourcing the operations or switching to another third-party operator would yield substantial savings for UF.”

When did these unresolved contract discussions begin?

Last fall, UF completed its transportation study. The study was completed in December 2023 and shared with the City in late February. UF submitted their FY25 proposal to the City in early March. Negotiations commenced at that time. To date, there has been no change in UF’s declared intention to drastically reduce services.

What is the impact of UF’s contribution to the RTS public transit system?

Today, UF’s contribution funds approximately 48% of transit operating costs and is projected to comprise over 68% of the system’s ridership with 3.9 million trips by UF riders by the end of FY24.

How would UF’s proposed month-to-month plan impact our community?

The 51 percent cut in RTS revenue would force City leaders to cut RTS operating expenses by:

  • eliminating more than 50 staffed positions;
  • reducing or eliminating 22 bus routes;
  • reducing the RTS fleet by 36 buses;
  • reducing RTS bus service more than 30 percent.

The layoffs would be detrimental to the livelihood of more than 50 City employees, each one dedicated to providing safe and reliable transportation to RTS passengers every day throughout the Gainesville Urbanized Area.

These cutbacks would disrupt the lives of the thousands of UF students, faculty, staff, UF Health Shands employees, area residents and visitors who rely daily on RTS service.

  • The number of passenger trips on RTS buses totaled more than 5 million during Fiscal Year 2023, averaging more than 380,000 trips per month. UF ridership accounted for more than 3.4 million trips in FY23.
  • The number of passenger trips for passengers with disabilities totaled more than 518,000 during FY23.
  • The reduction in funding would lead to the elimination of all 5 campus routes, the elimination of 6 additional student-oriented routes, and a reduction in service for an additional 11 routes throughout Gainesville.
  • It is estimated more than 9,000 daily trips, likely by car, could be created that would have been offset by 316 trips by bus. Reducing transit services is expected to result in more traffic congestion, emissions and travel delays and impact traffic safety with the addition of thousands of vehicles on area roads. 

Which RTS routes could get eliminated as of July 1?

The City expects to eliminate 11 of its 39 routes, including all 5 campus routes (Routes 118, 122,125, 126, 127) and six city routes. The city routes are:

  • Route 17: Rosa Parks Transfer Station-Beaty Towers
  • Route 25: Reitz Union-Gainesville Regional Airport
  • Route 28: Butler Plaza Transfer Station-The Hub
  • Route 34: The Hub-VA Medical Center
  • Route 46: Reitz Union-Rosa Parks Transfer Station
  • Route 150: Haile Village-Reitz Union

Which RTS routes could see a reduction in service?

The City expects to reduce service on 11 of its 39 current routes. The City expects to reduce service on 11 of its 39 current routes. On these routes, service would end at 10 p.m. Changes to weekend bus service are expected as well. These city routes are:

  • Route 1: Rosa Parks Transfer Station-Butler Plaza Transfer Station
  • Route 5: Rosa Parks Transfer Station-Oaks Mall
  • Route 8: North Walmart Supercenter-UF Health
  • Route 9: The Hub-Lexington Crossing Apartments
  • Route 12: Reitz Union-Butler Plaza Transfer Station
  • Route 16: Beaty Towers-Rosa Parks Transfer Station
  • Route 20: Reitz Union-Oaks Mall
  • Route 21: Oaks Mall to Cabana Beach Apartments
  • Route 33: Butler Plaza to Midtown
  • Route 35: Reitz Union-SW 35th Place
  • Route 38: The Hub-Gainesville Place

Could UF’s proposed month-to-month plan impact other sources of RTS funding?

Yes, the resulting changes would decrease ridership numbers which help determine state and federal funding levels. Grants from the Federal Transit Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation are expected to total more than $8 million in FY24.

Which other transportation options is UF exploring?

UF officials are in the best position to answer this question.

Other Resources

April 9 News Conference About UF Proposal