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UMass students address shuttle bus concerns

Crystal Transportation runs shuttle buses connecting UMass Boston with the nearby JFK/UMass MBTA station.

John Blanding/Globe Staff

Crystal Transportation runs shuttle buses connecting UMass Boston with the nearby JFK/UMass MBTA station.

Student leaders at the University of Massachusetts Boston expressed concern Friday about safety violations by Crystal Transport Inc., the bus carrier that shuttles students between campus and the JFK/UMass T station.

Federal regulators ordered the company to halt interstate operations this week after conducting a three-month investigation and finding multiple safety violations, including drivers who had tested positive for controlled substances and were permitted to stay on the road. If the company is unable to prove it has addressed the issues, it will be completely shut down at the end the month.

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Crystal Transport general manager Kevin Sheehan said the carrier hired two safety consultants to address the problems and has sent federal regulators paperwork showing that the issues have been fixed.

UMass student trustee Nolan O’Brien, undergraduate student government president Kayla Worthey, and graduate student assembly president Jesse Wright said they have spoken with university and student affairs leaders and are confident that every measure is being taken to protect students.

“Any safety threat to our students is cause for immediate alarm,” they said in a letter to the Globe. “We have been assured that this is a top priority for the UMass Boston administration, and that, if alternative transportation to and from JFK/UMass MBTA station and UMass Boston becomes necessary, the university will ensure it is provided.”

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