LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2020) — The University of Kentucky motor pool, operated by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will cease operations March 1. Reservations will not be taken beyond the end of February.
Vehicle rental, charter bus and maintenance services now available through the motor pool will be transitioned to other resources within the university or through existing contracts with vendors that can be used by the campus community. During the next few months, the college and university will finalize transition plans.
The motor pool has been run by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment for more than 40 years. It is not typical for a college of agriculture to operate a university motor pool. Additionally, numerous universities have outsourced motor pool operations to commercial entities such as Enterprise. Earlier this year, the college was moving toward the transition of daily rentals to Enterprise, and then COVID-19 delayed that process.
Right now, the service is losing a significant amount of money each month because of little usage during the pandemic, so it needs to sell excess fleet vehicles. Most rental car companies reduced their fleets to lower costs but will likely ramp up quickly once demand increases. That, however, is not easy for the college to do. Once the fleet is reduced or eliminated, it can’t be quickly restocked due to state vehicle requirements for using flex fuel.
Much of the existing fleet will be sold with proceeds used to offset current losses and to provide bridge funding for the restructuring plan.
The motor pool service center supports 15 CAFE employees and five student positions, either fully or partially. The restructuring plan, still under development, will prioritize finding other positions for the employees, said Orlando Chambers, associate dean for facilities.
CAFE will continue to provide maintenance for its farm equipment and other vehicles owned by units within the college, Chambers said. The on-campus location, near Kroger Field, will continue to be used in the near term as a fueling center for university vehicles, but the college is looking at alternative uses for that space.
The university has existing rental car discounts with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. These discounts are only available through UK Travel Services’ designated vendors AAA Corporate Travel, Concur and Avant Travel. For more information, visit the UK Travel Services website.
UK Transportation Services offers limited charter bus service with buses ranging from 20- to 36-passenger capacity for service in the Lexington, Fayette County area only, dependent upon the availability of equipment and staffing. For more information visit the UK Transportation Services website. There are existing contracts with private charter bus services in place as well.
The university’s Physical Plant Division will increase its capacity to offer repair and maintenance on any university-owned vehicles. For information, please contact Marvin Whitt in the Facilities Garage.
More information on the transition plan will be provided to UK employees prior to March 1.
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