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City committee will vote on transit

Company would operate Augusta buses

Sunday, April 24, 2011 5:04 PM
Last updated Monday, April 25, 2011 8:58 AM
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Augusta's public services committee is expected to vote Monday on the vendor chosen to take over management of the city's bus system for the next five years.

Mobility Transit Services LLC of Knoxville, Tenn., scored the highest of three companies ranked by an evaluation committee.

The committee's members included Transit Director Heyward Johnson and Procurement Director Geri Sams.

The committee did not evaluate two vendors -- Veolia Transportation of Marietta, Ga., and First Transit of Cincinnati -- after their bids were deemed noncompliant for having incorrect E-Verify numbers to confirm employees' eligibility to work in the United States.

Mobility scored highest among companies ranked in the criteria of "approach to providing transit services," references and proximity to the area, according to documents included in today's meeting packet.

Mobility scored less than vendor MV Transit of Fairfield, Calif., in price and less than vendor McDonald Transit of Fort Worth, Texas, in qualifications and experience but had the highest total score of the three, 81.8 out of a possible 100 points.

Thirty-six-year-old MV Transit's cost proposal showed a total savings of $7.5 million over five years but included converting all drivers to part time, according to a comparison sheet.

Mobility, whose years in business are listed as "new," showed a total savings of $2 million over five years.

Third-ranked McDonald Transit, with 38 years in business, projected savings of $1.2 million over five years.

The commission has been under pressure to relinquish transit service to the private sector after learning the service operates at an annual loss of $5 million.

A bus riders' group has also levied numerous complaints about the system's operations. Commissioners have said a private operator might address inefficiencies in the system.

The recommendation goes before Augusta's public services committee when it meets at 12:50 p.m. today. The proposal must go before the entire commission for final approval.

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Einstein
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Einstein 04/24/11 - 05:18 pm
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Can't believe they continue

Can't believe they continue to not evaluate potential contractors based on technicalities. Why am I surprised though? This has happened so many times before!

corgimom
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corgimom 04/24/11 - 05:35 pm
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"Technicalities" are those

"Technicalities" are those pesky little nuisances called Federal law. If they can't follow the law BEFORE they're hired, when they are putting (supposedly) their best foot forward, why would you think they could do a good job?

If they are that sloppy, then no, they should not be considered.

An E-verify number is right up there with address and telephone number. It's not some obscure technicality.

scgator
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scgator 04/24/11 - 05:42 pm
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I have had first hand

I have had first hand dealings with Geri Sams in the past on city bidding; and this is HER way ! E-Verify is used to check "potential" employees ability to be legally hired in this country. It is not legally relevant until a contract is valid and you are hiring workers. And as for converting all of the workers to part time........there goes the expense of a benefit package......but SOMEBODY will have to take up the slack for their healthcare; and guess who that will be taxpayers.

No_Longer_Amazed
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No_Longer_Amazed 04/24/11 - 07:28 pm
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Surely, if currently "the

Surely, if currently "the service operates at a $5 million annual loss" and "Mobility....showed a total savings of $2 million over five years" then the A-RC taxpayers will still be on the hook for $4.6 million a year. IMO if the bus service can not be made self-supporting it should be discontinued.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 04/25/11 - 04:50 am
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corgimom, You are wrong.

corgimom,

You are wrong. There is no fed law that says you have to have these numbers before a contract is awarded.

Please show me where that is in "Federal law" that you have to have this for contract eval.

You are wrong here.

Brad

corgimom
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corgimom 04/25/11 - 06:01 am
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You are right, Brad. It's not

You are right, Brad. It's not Federal law- just state law.

"Georgia-Georgia requires all public employers and government contractors to use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of their newly hired employees."

So change "Federal" to state, and there you go.

However, it IS Federal law that you have to have E-verify if you use Federal stimulus money- which A-RC has done.

pointstoponder
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pointstoponder 04/25/11 - 07:13 am
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Geri Sams has done much

Geri Sams has done much wrong. However the lack of flexibility in bid requirements is DIRECTLY the result of vendors suing whenever ARC waived informalities as other entities regularly do. To be consistent, you must dot all i's and cross all t's. This information is covered in detail in the pre-bid conferences so the vendors have no one to blame but themselves if they don't listen.

Einstein
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Einstein 04/25/11 - 08:21 am
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Points said, "....whenever

Points said, "....whenever ARC waived informalities as other entities regularly do...."

That's exactly my point... We seem to be the only ones who would turn down high-value proposals for picky typos.... It's no big deal though, it's just our tax dollars at stake.

scgator
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scgator 04/25/11 - 09:37 am
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state law requires E-verify

state law requires E-verify for newly hired employees, NOT potential employees who have not even been solicited yet (offered a job)

Einstein
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Einstein 04/25/11 - 11:24 am
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We would be hiring this

We would be hiring this company to operate the system anyway, so, the E-Verify nonsense would no apply to us anyway. That's the contracting customer's responsibility, because the employees would be working for them, not us! Part of the whole point in doing this is to let someone else that knows what they are doing run the system. Don't you see the irony in this? We couldn't run the service efficiently, and yet, we are being so nitpicky about how others would do it before we even give their proposals serious consideration. Unbelievable!

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