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Council Awards Beeline Contract to Medi-Ride

November 15, 1990

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.

The Beeline contract allows the city to negotiate four one-year renewals without seeking new proposals from other companies. Under the agreement, Glendale will own the Beeline buses, but Medi-Ride will provide maintenance, drivers and dispatching.

The shuttle service was launched in December, 1984. Passengers were charged 25 cents a ride. Two years ago, the fee was eliminated, and ridership began to climb.

During October, when a new southern route was added, Beeline shuttles carried more than 71,000 passengers, said Kerry Morford, city assistant public works director. The city will add a 12th shuttle in the coming months, he said.

The service was originally operated by Pacific Busing, which was acquired last year by Laidlaw Transit. The city did not receive a proposal from Laidlaw to continue the service, Morford said.

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