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Over the road coaches

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Posted

Looking over the Pace procurement site, I saw a posting for Over the Road (OTR) Coach Procurement. Downloading it, it is a procurement for fixed prices for up to 50 motor coaches for public commuter transit operation, but then says "Funds are not presently available for performance under this contract. Pace's obligation for performance under this contract is contingent upon the availability of funds from which payment for contract purposes may be made. No legal liability on the part of Pace for any payment may arise for performance under this contract until the Contractor receives a release order, to be confirmed in writing by the Purchasing Manager." Also, "Quantities listed are estimates only and do not constitute a commitment to purchase." Hence, a classic illusory contract, in which case, since one party isn't committed to do anything, the other is not bound. However, this might be an enforceable "firm offer" for the sale of goods without consideration.

Interesting is that Pace is using the standard bus spec, but is coming out in saying that for hybrids (if it purchases any), it wants a Cummins engine and Allison system, unless the manufacturer gets permission for an approved substitute. So, I guess there is an aftermarket if the CTA NFs fail (as some poster supposedly with inside information has intimated :lol:).

Now, as our former governor would ask "What is Pace thinking?" Given that the recent requests for contracts for routes 855, 889, and 1012 say that the contractor has to provide the equipment, does Pace have some sort of secret project where it needs motor coaches?

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Posted

Looking over the Pace procurement site, I saw a posting for Over the Road (OTR) Coach Procurement. Downloading it, it is a procurement for fixed prices for up to 50 motor coaches for public commuter transit operation, but then says "Funds are not presently available for performance under this contract. Pace's obligation for performance under this contract is contingent upon the availability of funds from which payment for contract purposes may be made. No legal liability on the part of Pace for any payment may arise for performance under this contract until the Contractor receives a release order, to be confirmed in writing by the Purchasing Manager." Also, "Quantities listed are estimates only and do not constitute a commitment to purchase." Hence, a classic illusory contract, in which case, since one party isn't committed to do anything, the other is not bound. However, this might be an enforceable "firm offer" for the sale of goods without consideration.

Interesting is that Pace is using the standard bus spec, but is coming out in saying that for hybrids (if it purchases any), it wants a Cummins engine and Allison system, unless the manufacturer gets permission for an approved substitute. So, I guess there is an aftermarket if the CTA NFs fail (as some poster supposedly with inside information has intimated :lol:).

A lot of transit systems (NJ Transit, Houston Metro) use motorcoaches for commuter routes, like Pace 355 (which is Pace operated). This seems to be a direction transit is in for long haul commutes to attract riders.

Now, as our former governor would ask "What is Pace thinking?" Given that the recent requests for contracts for routes 855, 889, and 1012 say that the contractor has to provide the equipment, does Pace have some sort of secret project where it needs motor coaches?

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Posted

the espansion plan is not secret, Pace was given RTA ICE grants for expanding Route 855 service to Plainfield, new route to the Medical Center area and a new route from Bolingbrook - Schaumburg.

No conspiracy here,go to RTA website under funding programs go to ICE program for 2008 awards.

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Posted

the espansion plan is not secret, Pace was given RTA ICE grants for expanding Route 855 service to Plainfield, new route to the Medical Center area and a new route from Bolingbrook - Schaumburg.

No conspiracy here,go to RTA website under funding programs go to ICE program for 2008 awards.

Yep, except there are 3 problems:
  • The request for the buses, as quoted above, indicated that Pace did not have the money.
  • The request for Route 855 said that the contractor had to provide the equipment.
  • The legislative authority for the I-55BRT project (70 ILCS 3615/2.09.) is separate from ICE (2.01 (c )).

That doesn't mean, of course, that Pace is following protocol. For instance, the Passenger Notices for Part 2 of the South Cook restructuring say "Made Possible by the Suburban Community Mobility Fund." However, the one thing that may not be used for is "traditional fixed route service." (2.01(e)). Now, if they had said that it was funded by the "access to job markets" money (2.09 (c )) that would be different.

Hence, while it is possible that Pace was doing some advance fishing in contemplation of getting that money, if you have an answer, I would appreciate you providing a link to a verifiable source for it.

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Posted

As I wrote, the RTA website indicates ICE funded expansion in operating funds for I-55 and I-355 service. If ILL gets a capital bill would this be the funding source?

The BRT legislation on I-55 is for the RTA to study the issue, but no funding attached from what can be read in the legislation.

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Posted

[*]The request for Route 855 said that the contractor had to provide the equipment.

Did anyone happen to see what the cancellation time frame was for this contract when the contractor provided the equipment?

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Posted

[*]The request for Route 855 said that the contractor had to provide the equipment.

Did anyone happen to see what the cancellation time frame was for this contract when the contractor provided the equipment?

5 year term Mar 1, 2009 to Feb 28, 2014.

Usual stuff for service changes and adjusting compensation on 7 days notice.

After 6 months, Pace can terminate without cause on 30 days notice. Also, termination if no money.

If you want to get technical, since the start date was March 1, I didn't see a contract award on the Pace site. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it might not have.

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Posted

5 year term Mar 1, 2009 to Feb 28, 2014.

Usual stuff for service changes and adjusting compensation on 7 days notice.

After 6 months, Pace can terminate without cause on 30 days notice. Also, termination if no money.

If you want to get technical, since the start date was March 1, I didn't see a contract award on the Pace site. Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it might not have.

It's just interesting that they want a contractor to go buy expensive motorcoaches, but they can cancel with a 30 day notice. Not much incentive to go after that contract. Did they put that clause so no outside contractor bids on it?????

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Posted

It's just interesting that they want a contractor to go buy expensive motorcoaches, but they can cancel with a 30 day notice. Not much incentive to go after that contract. Did they put that clause so no outside contractor bids on it?????

Seems standard, but hasn't seemed to deter contractors in the past. After all, Colonial/Pioneer was theoretically "stuck" with a couple of motorcoaches when Pace advertised 610, but then decided to transfer it to in house. Similarly, Mid-America was theoretically stuck with motorcoaches when the 855 contract went to Colonial a couple of years ago.

I was more surprised that someone bid on the Wheaton-Lombard contract, even though it was subject to the lack of funds clause and doomsday was being threatened, including on a couple of those routes.

I thought you were going more in metralink's direction that sure, Pace advertised for a private contractor, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't cancel in 6 months and institute the service he foresees.

Most of Pace's RFPs lack some sense of mutuality, but are not as lacking in consideration as the over the road RFP did (the notice obligation is some consideration). Obviously, though, a contractor assumes the risks outlined in the RFP.

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Posted

Another example of "transparency." The Pace Recently Awarded Bids page says

402761 Vehicle Procurement, Rolling Stock IFB Over The Road (OTR) Coach Procurement This Procurement has been cancelled. N/A

even though the September minutes say that the board authorized a contract for 11 of them. Different contract, administrative ineptitude, or more obfuscation?

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