From the start, this should have gone out to bid
Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending is launching a public awareness campaign to alert Maine taxpayers, as well as local taxpayers in Portland, Gorham and Westbrook, that Metro has launched a multi-million dollar plan without first exploring whether there might be a better way. We ask, “Why not be frugal with the taxpayers’ money?” Here’s our proposed action plan:
- USM and Metro should immediately halt the contracting of student shuttle services between Gorham and Portland.
- USM should put its request for student shuttle services out to public bid.
- As part of the bid process, USM should encourage a public/private partnership, the type of cost-saving transit solution that has worked very well in communities throughout the United States.
- If USM is awarding a contract only for student shuttle services between its Portland and Gorham campuses, it is appropriate that the university alone determines the winning bid. If the desired transit “solution” is more comprehensive than that, then public officials from participating municipalities should be directly involved in evaluating proposals and awarding a contract to the winning bidder.
- If the range of services in any bid request expands beyond USM's specific needs, a clear public benefit must be identified and clearly stated.
- Ultimately, the contract should be awarded to the bidder who proposes the most cost-effective and efficient service. Evaluation of bids should consider all revenue streams, not just money from the taxpayers. Such a bid process is logical, and it has been in place and worked very well for more than 30 years.
We SUPPORT necessary public transit. We OPPOSE wasting tax money.