UMass Boston fires Crystal Transport after failed federal safety probe

Passengers get off Crystal Transportation bus at the JFK/UMass MBTA station in Dorchester on March 20.
Passengers get off Crystal Transportation bus at the JFK/UMass MBTA station in Dorchester on March 20. –John Blanding/Globe Staff

The University of Massachusetts Boston has dropped Boston charter bus company Crystal Transport Inc. and hired two other companies to provide local shuttle bus service following a Globe report about Crystal Transport failing a federal investigation due to alleged safety issues.

Paul Revere Transportation LLC and Academy Bus have taken over the role providing shuttle service on and around UMass Boston’s campus, including to and from the JFK/UMass MBTA station. University officials said the change was made on Saturday.

“This was a necessary step to ensure that our campus community continues to feel safe and secure when traveling to and from campus,’’ said a statement released Friday by UMass Boston vice chancellor for administration and finance Ellen O’Connor.


“We feel confident that Paul Revere Transportation LLC and Academy Bus are the best solutions to meet our campus transportation needs in a safe and secure manner,’’ she added. “Both companies have extensive experience in the operation of safe bus transportation for a variety of clients and are licensed and in compliance with federal regulations.’’

Paul Revere Transportation’s operations include running terminal shuttle buses at Logan Airport and around the Longwood Medical Area, officials said. Academy Bus, the country’s largest privately owned and operated transportation company, provides shuttle service for Boston University, Tufts University and Emerson College.

On March 19, federal regulators ordered Crystal Transport to cease interstate operations because the company had failed a recent three-month investigation, which found safety issues including operators continuing to drive buses after testing positive for drugs or alcohol, the Globe reported earlier this month.

The company was allowed to continue operating locally until Saturday when it was ordered to be shut down completely, the Globe reported today

The president of Crystal Transport is scheduled to go before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities today to explain why the company should be allowed to resume operations, the Globe said.

The company’s general manager Kevin Sheehan told the Globe previously that two safety consultants had been hired to help address the issues and that documents had been sent to regulators showing the problems have been corrected.


The revelation prompted concern at UMass Boston.

O’Connor’s statement on Friday said the university “immediately began to explore alternate vendors to provide transportation services … after we learned [this month] that our current vendor, Crystal Transport Inc., had been the subject of a negative review by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which would require them to cease operations as of [Saturday].’’

While shuttle routes will not change and buses will continue to make the same stops, UMass Boston officials told riders in a statement “you can expect to experience some delays and should allow extra time when traveling to campus’’ during the transition to new vendors.

“There will be limitations on the capacity of buses at first, but we are working to build on and improve our bus fleet,’’ the university added. “Our bus tracking system Transloc will also not be immediately available, but we are taking the necessary steps to bring it online as quickly as possible.’’

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