The future of the city workers who drive the shuttle buses at KCI Airport remains up in the air.
The City Council postponed a vote today on a proposal to privatize the airport's blue and red bus system, through a $26.7 million five-year shuttle bus contract with Standard Parking.
Supporters of privatization did not have the seven votes to win approval for the contract. Instead, the council directed the city auditor to review issues relating to the KCI bus system and report back in six months.
Specifically, City Auditor Gary White will study absenteeism, accidents and customer service complaints for the period October 2011 to February 2012, and compare that to similar data for the period October 2012 to February 2013.
Aviation officials have said the bus service is plagued with high absenteeism, high overtime costs, and numerous accidents that cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. They have said the city could save millions of dollars by privatizing the service. But opponents of privatization have said the city needs to value its workers, and they argue that now is a terrible time to eliminate good city jobs, with the economy so precarious.
The privatization contract is on hold until March 28, 2013.