Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

Is Bus Bidder MV Transportation for Sale?

By Lisa Kaiser
abele
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The Dallas-based MV Transportation lost a big contract last week, when a Milwaukee County review panel denied the Abele administration’s intent to award it a half-billion dollar, 3-year contract to run the Milwaukee County Transit System. 

Now comes word that MV is up for sale—and that the company is the source of numerous complaints in Dallas over its paratransit service.

According to a new report from the Dallas Morning News:

Dallas Area Rapid Transit board members are poised Tuesday to overhaul and extend a $185.9 million contract with the controversial company that provides transportation for elderly and disabled passengers.

The move comes as MV Transportation is putting itself up for sale and after the transit agency has spent months weathering criticisms about the vendor’s performance.

A majority of DART’s 14 board members voiced support for the contract changes earlier this month. But some board members say the alterations are so vast they should solicit other companies’ bids rather than negotiate exclusively with MV.

So on top of its service troubles—which will divert “savings” under the existing contract to fixing its operations—it seems that MV wasn’t totally upfront about its planned sale. From the new report:

Board member Faye Wilkins-Moses last month questioned what happens if MV successfully finds a buyer. DART attorney Scott Carlson said the board would have to approve MV’s assignment of an existing contract to a new company.

“It doesn’t give me the level of comfort I should have,” Wilkins-Moses said.

The longtime board member said the fact that the board wasn’t told about the sale during meetings about the requested contract changes makes her question what else they are being left in the dark about.

So, the question is, did MV tell the Abele administration that it was up for sale? If so, why wasn’t that disclosed to the public?

And didn’t Milwaukee County transit riders and taxpayers just dodge a bullet?

 

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