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Local Transportation Service Wins Contract For Pre-K 4 SA

Ryan Loyd

The Pre-K 4 SA board of directors has chosen its transportation service to take students to and from the model education centers.

Four firms competed for the contract to provide transportation services for San Antonio's Pre-K 4 SA program.

Two of them were national companies - Durham Transportation, and First Student, Inc. One was a small, family-owned Texas company - All Aboard Transportation, based in Tom Bean. The final one hails from San Antonio - Star Shuttle.

After a selection committee rated the companies based on qualifications like cost, proposed plan, background and experience, local service Star Shuttle prevailed.

The board voted unanimously to seek and negotiate a contract.

Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni told the Pre-K 4 SA Board that the companies were given points for each of the criteria. He said the committee determined Star Shuttle had the best overall package.

"They have about 50 years of transportation experience here in San Antonio," he told the board Tuesday. "Some of their major vendors or contracts include 21 years with VIA, they provide transit services with VIA, some of the disability services."

Zanoni said the number one priority is safety because the city will be responsible for transporting a large number of Pre-K students.

"We estimated that about 50 percent of the students would rely on the city to provide transportation services," he told the board.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Star Shuttle had zero crashes since 2011.

San Antonio Police Officer Matthew Porter said crash reports don't go back to 2010. But local television station KENS-TV reported in 2010 that a Star Shuttle van collided with a man in a wheelchair on Christmas Eve. The report said the driver was inattentive, but that the man in the wheelchair failed to yield the right of way to the driver.

The vehicle involved in the crash was a van. It’s not yet clear which type of vehicle Star Shuttle will use to transport Pre-K 4 SA students.

The database said the company's last federal safety rating date was completed in May 2009, but that the rating remains current as of this week.

Texas Public Radio has submitted an open records request with the Department of Public Safety regarding Star Shuttle, but it has not yet been returned as the selection was just made public, and voted on by the Pre-K 4 SA board. By law, DPS has 10 days to respond to the request.

Star Shuttle company leaders have not returned calls to discuss the pending contract and the accident involving their van three years ago.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.