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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2000

Lawrence Bus Co. asks FTA to look at complaint

June 30, 2000

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The owner of the Lawrence Bus Co. said he will ask for federal review of his complaint about the bidding process for city bus service.

The Lawrence public transit administrator and City Manager Mike Wildgen dismissed the complaint. Now, Lawrence Bus Co. owner Wayne Popp said he will file a protest with the Federal Transit Administration to meet a coming Wednesday deadline for an appeal.

Popp said the city's bid review, which recommended awarding the contract to MV Transportation of Fairfield, Calif., was flawed. He said his company should have been rated higher and MV lower based on the city's bid specifications.

Popp said he was worried that loss of the city contract would mean the end of Lawrence Bus Co. The company provides paratransit services for the city and student transportation for Kansas University.

"I still have a problem with the FTA spending money to put a private transportation provider out of business," Popp said.

FTA will provide much of the money for the proposed Lawrence Transit System.

The agency will review Popp's complaint to see whether the city followed its own protest policies in evaluating it, FTA official Cindy Terwilliger said. The review will take about two weeks once the complaint is received, she said.

Popp said the complaint would be filed before Wednesday.

This is the second time the city has chosen companies to manage the bus service and provide vehicles.

Problems with the initial process caused the city to rebid both contracts with close scrutiny from FTA.

"We have every indication to believe they've followed the appropriate process this time," Terwilliger said.

Karin Rexroad, the city's public transit administrator, said the city would await the FTA's decision before signing any contract with MV Transportation.

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