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Fort Collins, Colorado

Keywords: Transit, Failed Contract

Paratransit Service

In an effort to cut costs, the City of Fort Collins, Colorado privatized its paratransit service for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in 1996. For two years Shamrock Taxi ran the program, but several complaints of poor service quality resulted in the city bringing the program back in-house. While under private contract, the service had numerous problems hiring and retaining employees, resulting in unreliable service. In addition, users of the program often complained about the lack of courtesy on the part of van drivers.

The owners of Shamrock Taxi were upset when the city decided to take back the service in 1998. They tried to generate community support for their cause, arguing that the citys claims of poor service were unfounded. The taxi company failed to sway public opinion, however, which was firmly on the side of city government.

The service currently employs about 25 part-time employees. Costs for the program are similar to what the taxi company charged, but service quality has improved significantly.

Case based on interview with John Fischbach, City Manager, June 24, 1999.