Officials to seek bids on Lincoln-Omaha commuter bus service

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State officials will seek bids this spring from companies to run buses between Lincoln and Omaha, a service aimed at the thousands of people who commute between the cities daily.

A state feasibility study has put the more than 15-year-old idea closer to getting the green light, project officials said Tuesday.

The annual cost of $5 million has been estimated for the first two years, and transportation officials think federal funds earmarked for intercity bus service can offset half of the operating costs and most of the capital investment.

The proposed route for Lincoln-to-Omaha commuters would begin at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, head to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's downtown campus, then to the StarTran Transfer Center before heading to park-and-ride sites at Gateway Mall and on North 84th Street before leaving for Omaha.

The route would stop once en route, at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Ashland, before stops in Omaha at Aksarben Village, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University, downtown Omaha, the Amtrak station and Eppley Airfield.

Another route would serve both Lincoln and Omaha and run along U.S. Highway 6.