The Nebraska Public Service Commission denied a license application Tuesday for the D&N Event Center to transport passengers for hire in the D&N’s chartered buses.

The D&N has three such buses, initially used to provide transportation related services to D&N events. The company began allowing them to be used for other uses to accomodate requests to rent the buses for other events and parties, D&N President Tad Haneborg said.

In issuing its order, the commission cited failure to adhere to the rules, despite multiple warnings from the commission about operating without authority.

Haneborg told the Bulletin his company did not have a qualified manager for the event center at that time.

After the PSC received a complaint that the D&N was operating the buses without a license, the PSC sent a cease and desist letter, but the D&N did not abide by it. A month or so later, an inspector conducted a sting operation, hiring the bus and riding in it, and found it inadequate.

The decision noted that one of the buses has an external deadbolt lock on the door instead of a conventional lock.

“Not only do we have trouble with the applicant’s managerial fitness, we also have questions about the equipment being used,” PSC Commission Chair Mary Ridder said.

Haneborg said his company does not want to be in the bus rental business.

“We would just like to have transportation for the event center’s own events, which is legal as long as no buses are being rented,” he said.

Haneborg said the D&N gets 10-15 calls a week for the service, and tells everyone “we are not renting them for the time being.”

In the decision, the Commission said a need exists for a premium charter bus and special party service in the area, but the need doesn’t outweigh concerns about managerial fitness concerns and public safety.