The new plan apparently would end the CMRTA's hat-in-hand approach to funding. Last year, city and county councils agreed to a combined $5.5 million to prop up the buses. But their money had strings. It stretched payments into fiscal quarters, required the CMRTA to overhaul its board and led to the hiring of a Veolia executive, Schneider, to run the service. Schneider's duties as executive director for the first time granted the director authority over the five-person CMRTA staff.
Since assuming the post late last year, Schneider has been studying ways to save money, including streamlining service to end the least-used routes, combining other routes and finding other sources of income. Federal grants can be used to buy but not operate buses.