From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University has announced plans to partner with Groome Transportation to provide campus shuttle services in an effort to reduce costs, create efficiencies and provide a new fleet of buses for users. The initiative is one of the ways BGSU is responding to the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency, which requires state institutions of higher education to look for ways to continue offering a high-quality education while decreasing costs. “BGSU has a strong history of partnering with private companies to increase efficiency and improve services for our students. This initiative is no exception,” said BGSU Interim President Rodney Rogers. “Collaborations like these allow us to concentrate on our core mission of educating students.” Additional University partnerships include those with Chartwells, which provides dining services; Wood County Hospital, which operates the Falcon Health Center; and the Bowling Green Flight Center, which provides flight instruction. BGSU’s current fleet of buses will require nearly $250,000 in new equipment replacement and maintenance costs over the next two years. The shuttle service operated at a deficit in fiscal year 17. As part of this agreement, Groome Transportation will bring a new fleet of BGSU-branded buses to campus, helping to reduce the University’s operating costs. Employment opportunities will be offered to existing staff members who meet Groome’s hiring requirements. At BGSU’s request, the company is exploring possible changes to its hiring policy to permit drivers to be under age 25. If that is not possible, the University will work with the approximately seven student drivers who would be displaced to find them other employment on campus. “Ohio House Bill 64 requires institutions to develop and implement a plan that will provide undergraduate students the opportunity to reduce their cost of earning a degree by 5 percent,” said Sheri Stoll, BGSU’s chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration. “We continually look for ways to keep a BGSU education affordable for Ohio’s students and their families.” Following an RFP process, the University entered into negotiations with Groome Transportation, which provides services to several large, public universities across the country. By entering into this partnership, which is expected to begin July 1, current projections indicate savings of $200,000-$250,000 annually, more than $1 million over the five-year term.