Denver extends contract with bus company providing transportation to overflow homeless shelters

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DENVER – The Denver City Council on Monday voted to add $1 million to an existing contract with a bus company that helps bring homeless people to the city’s overflow shelters.

The extra money will extend the existing contract between the city and county and Busco, Inc. through the end of September.

The contract has been in place for years, and Monday’s extension was the second year in a row the council has extended the funding. Last year, the council approved close to $1 million as well.

"I think in this specific instance we kind of undershot just how much budget would be required because we’re not only buying the buses, you then have to operate them, you’ve got to find drivers for them," said Julie Smith with Denver Human Services.

Four buses are used by the company two take people to and from the overflow shelters when Denver’s main shelter, the Denver Rescue Mission, fills up.

The city had planned last year to buy its own buses and do away with the contract, but its Monday extension means that the services via the private company will continue through Sept. 30. The city estimated last year that having its own buses might cut costs by 50 percent.

The council passed the resolution in a unanimous vote.

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