CSULB accepts bids for new campus shuttle contract

Cal State Long Beach’s Parking and Transportation Services is accepting bids for a new contract for its shuttle system, a system that Associated Students Inc. Vice President Jonathon Bolin said is in danger of being drastically cut.

The university’s current contract with Silverado Stages, Inc. is set to expire within a few months. According to Operations Officer for Department of Financial Services Neil Iacono, bidding for the new shuttle contract is a prescribed process.

“Silverado [Stages, Inc.] is bidding as well as other vendors, and we’re treating everyone equally,” Iacono said.

In March, Bolin said the shuttle system was in danger of facing cuts.

“I think what the [Parking and Transportation Services’s] plan is [to] just cut them and cut them … until there’s really no need for shuttles anymore,” Bolin said.

According to Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) Manager Carolyn Weidell, however, the university has no plans to reduce shuttle service in the future.

“We’re not planning to cut anything,” Weidell said in March. “We’re not planning to reduce [shuttle] service.”

According to Weidell, shuttle fees could increase, decrease or remain the same, depending on the new contract.

“Right now, Parking and Transportation Services are going through a renegotiation of the contract,” Bolin said. “Our fees are going to go up if we stay with this one company [Silverado Stages, Inc.].”

According to the contract between Silverado Stages, Inc. and CSULB, the operating fees for Residential Learning College shuttles have risen by 36.4 percent since 2009.

Between June 2009 and June 2010, the hourly rate for the RLC shuttle was $42.50, according to the contract between Silverado Stages, Inc. and CSULB.

Currently, the hourly rate for an on campus and RLC shuttle is $57.96, according to the contract.

Bolin said he learned of the possible shuttle fee increases from a presentation at a November meeting for PTS officials. The presentation was conducted by CSULB Master’s of Business Administration students, Bolin said.

As part of their campaign platform, Bolin and ASI President John Haberstroh proposed that ASI purchase the shuttle system and hire students to operate the shuttles.

“We can … take over the shuttles and get them run by student drivers,” Bolin said in March. “We really want to save the shuttles … Without this, they’re going to disintegrate into nothing.”

According to Weidell, CSULB doesn’t have plans to independently operate the shuttle system.

“If we owned the shuttle service, we’d probably consider [using the student drivers],” Weidell said.

As CSULB still accepts bids for the shuttle contract, Bolin said he hopes to meet with PTS about shuttle contract negotiations.

“Right now, we’re looking to sit in on the re-negotiation meetings,” Bolin said. “[Haberstroh and I] haven’t had the time to meet with them.”

According to Weidell, a contract selection will be made and announced in mid-June.

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