Elk Grove Renews Contract With MV Transportation, Rejects Recommendation For New Contractor

The Elk Grove City Council unanimously rejected a recommendation from its staff to switch bus service providers and moved to renew its...



The Elk Grove City Council unanimously rejected a recommendation from its staff to switch bus service providers and moved to renew its contract with MV Transportation at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The city staff had recommended that Veolia Transportation Service be awarded the five-year contract even though its bid was $1 million more than MV’s bid. City Transit System Manager Tiffani Fink said the selection of Veolia was based on a “best value” analysis that showed Veolia would be more economical over the course of the contract.

From the start of Fink’s presentation, Councilmember Jim Cooper expressed skepticism about the findings of the eight-person panel that recommended Veolia. Cooper focused on what he thought was the lack of transit experience of two members of the committee, transit analyst Jamie Bandy and management analyst Angela Frost.

“They don’t have a whole lot of transit experience,” Cooper said. He also questioned the objectivity of Fink and implied a conflict of interest.

After presentations from Veolia staff members, the council heard comments from members of MV Transportation who defended their performance and implored the council to retain their services. “We were stunned when we heard they [Veolia] were a million dollars more,” said MV representative Jay Jeter.

After public comment, the council decided to reject the recommendation and vote unanimously to retain MV. Among the reasons stated by the council was the fact that Veolia was a foreign-owned enterprise while MV is a California based and that many of the service problems, such as buses catching on fire and air conditioning breaking down on hot days, were the blame of faulty equipment purchased by the city.

In January the council voted not to renew its contract with MV. At the time, council member Sophia Scherman, who had received $5,000 in campaign contributions from MV, said she was "disgusted" with MV. Council member Gary Davis also received $1,500 from MV last year.

The council members also expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the staff report. “I have never seen a report like this," Cooper said.


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