The Glendale City Council awarded a $692,000 contract Tuesday to Medi-Ride, making it operator of the city's popular Beeline shuttle service beginning Nov. 27.
Glendale-based Medi-Ride, which earlier this year won a contract to operate the Dial-A-Ride van service for the city's elderly and disabled residents, submitted the lowest among four bids, which ranged as high as $1.4 million for one year.
City Council members expressed surprise that Medi-Ride's bid was 11.3% below the city staff's estimate of the annual cost of operating the 11 shuttles, which provide free transportation in the city's central business district. They asked whether the firm had enough drivers to take over the system when the present contract expires in two weeks.
Medi-Ride Vice President Irwin Rosenberg said the company was able to submit a low bid because it can use some of the same employees who now administer and dispatch the Dial-A-Ride program. He said the company has begun seeking Beeline drivers and pledged that it will be ready on schedule.