Thursday, January 11, 2007

Broward County determined to spend $25 million more

Broward County FL - In a move that needs to be explained to the public, the Miami Herald reports on further developments on Broward County Transit's (BCT) fight over it's next order of buses.

Again, no details are given as to why the BCT insists it needs to spend $25 million more to buy from New Flyer Industries (NFI) rather than the North American Bus Industries (NABI). All the BCT will state is that the NABI didn't meet the specs for the order and NFI did.

How? What specs weren't met? They won't say and most likely it's over trivial issues that won't effect a thing. Considering they will be using second hand buses soon to try and meet schedule, used buses that most likely don't meet the BCT's "stringent" standards, I can't see the logic behind their fight.

All I can see is a transit system hiding behind the legal language in order that they can spend $25 million more in taxpayer money and they'll continue to waste even more money to challenge the decision from the hearing officer that the BCT tossed NABI's bid inappropriately.

The BCT is now angling to toss everything and re-issue the invitation to bid so that it can rewrite the specifications so that only NFI can win the bid with the challenge to the hearing officer's directive. That is a typical tactic used in the public transit industry when the TA doesn't particularly like a winning manufacturer for any reason (including things like the personal preference of a key official).

Given that the BCT so desperately wants to spend $25 million more of taxpayer dollars, they need to tell the public what is wrong with the NABI order and why it would hurt the system if they accepted the NABI bid. They won't and that is because the reason for tossing NABI's bid is based on trivial issues that won't effect the BCT at all. Hiding behind vague phrases like "they didn't meet our qualifications" is far easier for the political hacks that just want to spend more money than stepping up and telling the public what the situation really is.

The Broward County and BCT officials pushing to spend more without any clear explanation grabbed the Lance award and they deserve it.

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