Cameron Co. Man’s Shuttle Service No Longer Needed at Airport

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HARLINGEN - A Port Isabel man said his shuttle business out of a local airport was discontinued without notice.

Julian Hernandez said he spent the last three years serving visitors who fly into Valley International Airport in Harlingen. He said he sees nearly a dozen people every week needing a ride to South Padre Island.

“This is not a shuttle, this is a tour to the island,” he said

As required by the Harlingen airport, Hernandez obtained his transportation business permit early January. He said he was surprised to learn this week his services were no longer needed at the airport.

“They said, ‘We’re not gonna let you pick up here at the airport.’ What was the problem with that?” he said. “I’m actually going to go out of business if I can’t pick up anybody from the airport.”

Valley International Airport director of aviation for Marv Esterly said they let go of Hernandez’s service after they contracted a new company.

“We currently have South Padre Island shuttle operations that we have actually had for years, but they actually include shuttles, limousines and taxis,” he said.

Esterly said the exclusivity of the new service is an effort to have all the transportation needs met by one company.  He said they had instances where people waited hours for transportation.

“The main reason for that is that we have a contract now. We can guarantee service to the customers when they get here to the airport flying in,” he said.

Esterly said a letter was sent out notifying everyone operating with a permit of the change and issuing a refund.

Hernandez said he did not receive the letter. The airport said he can continue to operate until he receives the letter. 

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