Bell puts SmartBus on hold - Metro US

Bell puts SmartBus on hold

The possibility of legal action from Bell Canada has forced city council to delay a decision on purchasing a series of new SmartBus features.

Resulting from a procurement process initiated for a next-stop announcement system, OC Transpo had chosen a $17-million plan that included a suite of extra features like a GPS-based predictive arrival and vehicle-condition monitoring system from Clever Devices.

Transit services general manager Alain Mercier argued that the extra features were something OC Transpo had already budgeted for anyway and this purchase would not affect its budget, despite costing $10 million more than estimated.

Coun. Rainer Bloess said he would put forward a motion that would cancel any current contract and restart the procurement process.

However, before council could even debate the issue, the city received a letter from the law firm McCarthy Tetrault on behalf of Bell Canada stating that the city had gone beyond the scope of the request for proposals.

According to a return on investment report, OC Transpo expects to save over $50 million over the next 10 years if the full package is implemented next year.

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