PRESS RELEASE: Bus companies slam tax-exempts’ rejection of public bidding

NOVEMBER 29, 2017

(Portland, Maine) According to a report yesterday by WMTW-TV, a spokeswoman for Metro said that in its attempt to seize a USM shuttle service from the taxpaying bus company now providing it, Metro’s services “shouldn’t be compared to private, or for-profit companies.”

“Are you kidding me? Shopping for the best deal is exactly what you do before you ask taxpayers for an enormous public expenditure,” said Mark Robinson, a spokesman for Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending (TWTS) (www.WiseTransitME.org).

The alliance of taxpaying bus companies launched a public awareness campaign at a press conference in Portland yesterday. They want the general public to know that a service taxpaying companies have provided efficiently and cost-effectively for more than 30 years is in grave danger of changing hands, and costing taxpayers drastically more, without first going out to bid. They suggest ending a service that is now exclusive to USM students will be unpopular with the students and their parents.

Yesterday TWTS called on USM and Metro to halt the contracting of student shuttle services between Gorham and Portland, and called on USM to put its request for student shuttle services out to public bid.

Neither USM nor Metro pays taxes. In a joint statement issued to the Portland Press Herald, the two organizations said, “We should not compare what a private charter company can provide to individual organizations with what a regional transportation system can provide to a growing metropolitan area.”

That statement drew a blunt response from the TWTS spokesman.

“I think that’ll make any taxpayer’s blood boil. It’s completely tone deaf,” Robinson said. 

The taxpaying bus companies announced yesterday that they have the support of the New England Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, the American Bus Association and the Business Coalition for Fair Competition.

Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending is an alliance of bus and motorcoach companies based in the state of Maine. Its members include decades-old family businesses, and all members pay significant local, state and federal taxes. Info: www.WiseTransitME.org.