Ottawa OK's next-stop system for buses
Ottawa city council has approved a $12.1-million contract for an automated stop-announcement system for the city's buses.
After meeting behind closed doors for most of Tuesday afternoon, council voted to go ahead with a $12.1-million contract with U.S.-based Clever Devices. The company will provide automated stop-calling and electronic fare-card systems, but will not include additional technology it was prepared to offer the city.
City council had originally approved a budget of $6.7 million for a simple system to call out next stops on buses. But council cancelled the project in October after learning the cost had ballooned to $17 million. Clever Devices, which was to have implemented that system, had planned extra features such as technology to track buses in real time.
Awarding the $12.1-million contract will likely allow the city to avoid litigation from Clever Devices. However, losing bidder Bell Canada may still sue the city on the grounds that the approved contract includes features that were not listed in the original tender documents.
Councillors also voted Tuesday to ask the city's auditor general to review the procurement process, in light of their experience with this contract.
In 2007, the Canadian Transportation Agency ordered OC Transpo to call out major stops and stops requested by passengers after a complaint from a blind passenger.