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Barksdale airmen get new transportation service option

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Airman Dylan Gauthier, 2nd Security Forces Squadron installation patrolman, checks identification cards for people to get through the main gate entrance at Barksdale Air Force Base, Jan. 5, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell)
By Jennyne Pinter, jpinter@bossierpress.com

Barksdale airmen and their families now have a transportation service available to help them get around the base.  

iShuttle, a local charter service, has contracted to provide door-to-door rides for service men and women with 21 stops spanning seven areas on the base. 

This service makes it possible for airmen to use iShuttle as their sole source of transportation at Barksdale.

“We are honored to provide transportation services for the Airmen and families who proudly serve our country, and look forward to providing safe, reliable and professional services at Barksdale,” David Wimberly, COO and cofounder of iShuttle, said in a press release.

Founded in Shreveport by three entrepreneurs who wanted to connect mobile GPS technology with transportation services, iShuttle has mainly focused on individual, corporate, and event transportation. However, a chance meeting at a conference at Bossier Parish Community College brought iShuttle’s service to the attention of Barksdale Air Force Base leadership.  

iShuttle and the Army and Airforce Exchange Service (AAFES) entered into a contract earlier in 2018 to resolve the transportation difficulties facing those who live on the 22,000-plus acre Base. 

Wimberly commented that one of the first remarks of newly enlisted airmen upon arrival at Barksdale is, “Okay…how do I get around?” He said the presence of iShuttle at Barksdale will help alleviate that demand on airmen, while reducing the amount of traffic throughout the base.

“I think it’s really going to be attractive to young people who do not want to buy a car,” he said. “Barksdale is such a great part of our community and providing our service to them is such a great honor.”

Magaly Colon, services business manager of the Barksdale Exchange, is excited about using a local company as their first ever outsourced transportation service.

“We feel this is a service that many Airmen will be able to rely on as their sole transportation to and from work each day,” she said in the press release.

Two shuttles are used to provide the rides. A 24-person bus runs on weekdays from 5:30 a.m. through 7 p.m., and a 14-person minibus assists during the heavy hours in the mornings and late afternoons/evenings. The last service times on the weekend are 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

The buses leave the base during the off-hours when they are not in use in order to assist with normal charter services.

The Airmen have a few payment options in using the iShuttle service. Individual one-way rides can be purchased through the AAFES for $2.50 at the time of service, or monthly passes are available at a rate of $95-per-month for an individual and $125-per-month for a family.  

Wimberly mentioned that the union with Barksdale has the local transportation company looking forward toward using it as a model to provide services to military bases throughout the country.