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Q&AZ: Why do ASU shuttle buses have Nebraska license plates?

Arizona State University, known for its sprawling Tempe campus and touting "number one in innovation" status, has campuses dotted around the East and West Valley as well as downtown Phoenix.

Each campus has different specialties and classes, and students often take classes on multiple campuses at a time.

Through KJZZ’s Q&AZ reporting project, a listener asked: Why do the ASU shuttles that take students and staff between campuses have Nebraska license plates?

ASU contracts with Nebraska-based Arrow Stage Lines to provide intercampus shuttles to its students free of charge.

But Arrow Stage Lines is operating vehicles in Arizona, so why wouldn't their buses be registered in Arizona?

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there are several ways companies that are based out of state can operate vehicles in multiple states without having to register their vehicles in each state.

A statement from Arrow Stage Lines said that the company uses "apportioned license plates." So while the buses themselves are registered in Nebraska, the company pays registration fees to each state based on how many miles its buses travel in that state. This ensures any state the company is operating in gets a fair share.

Since the ASU shuttles operate exclusively within Arizona, all of that money goes here, the statement said.

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Nate Engle is an intern at KJZZ and an undergraduate at Arizona State University studying journalism and mass communication.During his time at ASU, Engle has enjoyed working in the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, something that has helped him discover a passion for using technology to tell stories in new and interesting ways.Outside of ASU, Engle plays ice hockey on the weekends and enjoys photography, stargazing and following science and technology.