Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council could vote next Monday to award a new five-year contract for operating the city’s public transit system.

A nine-member evaluation committee is recommending the city continue to retain the services of First Transit, which was awarded the contract in 2012 through a process that is still the subject of a legal dispute. Rochester City Lines had held the contract for decades prior to that and filed a lawsuit against the city in a case that has twice gone before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Rochester City Lines has also gone to the State Court of Appeals to challenge the process being used in this year’s bid selection.
The “best value” methodology used by the evaluation committee this year scored and ranked the four bids received for the contract on the technical aspects of the proposal and cost. The results show the proposal from First Transit was ranked first in both categories, while the Rochester City Lines bid received the lowest rank for technical aspects and had the second highest cost. The two other bins submitted by Transdev and McDonald’s Transit.

In submitting the recommendation, the evaluation committee noted the First Transits bid is almost $400,000 less expensive than its nearest cost competitor in the first year of the contract, and would be about $3.5 million less expensive over the five-year duration of the contract.

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