Broward County Delays Bidding on Airport Shuttle Contract

April 26, 2007
After February's fatal accident, commissioners want to review driver rules before writing bid specs.

Apr. 25--Two months after an airport shuttle was involved in a crash that killed two people, Broward County commissioners said they want to talk about whether to hire shuttle drivers with imperfect driving records.

Currently, the county's contract with ShuttlePort prohibits hiring any driver who has three points -- or one violation -- on his or her driving record. Some commissioners say that policy is too stringent -- especially since Broward County Transit hires bus drivers with up to three points. Those drivers are taken off the road only if their license is suspended or revoked.


ShuttlePort's contract expires in October. Commissioners were set to vote on seeking bids from companies that want to ferry passengers between their cars and the airport, but they delayed action Tuesday, saying they want to discuss the possible rule change.

Also, commissioners want to review an ongoing county audit of ShuttlePort before deciding whether to renew the contract or seek bids.

The board will consider temporarily renewing ShuttlePort's contract -- perhaps on a month-to-month basis -- until commissioners decide how to handle the next five-year, $87 million contract.

Regardless of what company wins the contract, drivers will earn more than a dollar extra per hour. Under the current five-year contract -- approved shortly before the county's living wage law took effect -- drivers earn at least $9.27 an hour and get health benefits. The county's cost-of-living wage is $10.63 an hour with health benefits, and will increase in the fall.

Many drivers have to work overtime and second jobs to make ends meet, and some think the driver involved in the fatal crash was overworkedand fatigued. The Broward Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the crash.

Commissioner Lois Wexler said a higher salary night allow workers to cut back on extra work hours.

The shuttles transport more than six million passengers a year between passenger and employee parking lots and the airport.


On Feb. 18, shuttle driver Jackson Aristide was headed west on Perimeter Road when he crossed the center line and plowed head-on into an eastbound shuttle. Driver George Pitter, 64, of Hollywood died, along with Jameer Fyzool, 71, a passenger in Aristide's shuttle. Fyzool, a Sunrise resident, worked at an airport eatery.

Aristide had six points on his driving record. ShuttlePort later took 10 drivers with violations off the road.

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