Friday, June 19, 2009

Busing consortium RFPs, cont'd

The papers that brought this issue to light originally are now staking an editorial position on it. Two papers in Belleville and Trenton have slightly reworked versions of the same opinion piece regarding the move to have the busing consortia RFP/tender bus routes.
From the Trentonian piece:
Craig Smith, owner of Smith Bus Lines, said if operators don’t get backing from local municipal councils and residents, 80 of his employees will be on the unemployment lines.
Most local operators have one contract, said Vaughn Richmond, of Richmond’s School Coach in Belleville.
“Most of our eggs are in one basket. Our businesses are tailored for one customer,’’ he said. “The Ministry of Education is being extremely shortsighted. They won’t look far enough down the road to see what’s going to happen.’’
Local operators say they can’t step in and submit a bid for 100 routes like the big players.
“We don’t have that kind of leverage,’’ said Richmond.
This is an interesting one to keep an eye on. The mayor pledged to meet with Kathleen Wynne at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa at the end of August to discuss it. Other smaller bus operators should be keeping their ear to the ground on this one as well.