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New contractor on board for buses

Posted: June 13, 2008 1:24 a.m.
Updated: August 14, 2008 5:02 a.m.


City bus riders may notice slight improvements in bus services when a new transit contractor comes on board in August, a Santa Clarita transit official said Thursday.

The City Council approved switching to a new contractor to manage, operate and maintain the city's transit services. The council approved a three-year, $49 million contract with MV Transportation. The proposal was $3.5 million less than the proposal by the current contractor, yet provided staffing increases.

"The general public should see very little in terms of service change," said Jeff O'Keefe, transit manager for the city. "In fact, they should see improvements. Commuter riders should see a noticeable improvement in commuter serves."

He said the contract will hold the contractor responsible for bringing a new bus into a route when one breaks down.

The company also plans to bring in three "customer service ambassadors" to assist bus riders at the Soledad and Newhall Metrolink stations and the McBean Regional Transit Center during peak hours.

The buses, schedules and drivers will largely remain unchanged, he said.

On Tuesday, MV Transportation executives promised the council a seamless transition and pledged not to ask for increases in their contract during the three-year period.

"We commit to the council we will not come back asking for an increase," said Kevin Klika, president of MV's West Coast operations.

The city used ATC transit services beginning in 1996, but the company was bought out by Veolia Transportation Inc. within the last two years.

Veolia's contract expires Aug. 5, at which time MV Transportation's contract will take effect.


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