Austin Transit Board sticks with provider

Published 1:18 pm Friday, December 3, 2010

The Austin-Mower County Area Transit Board (AMCAT) awarded the transit operation bid for 2011-2012 to Duren Inc. Thursday evening, pending approval from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Duren Inc. has been the provider of transport drivers for AMCAT for the last three years and is currently operating under a $22.90 per hour contract.

The company’s bid was not the lowest amount but was $.90 lower than the amount under which they currently operate. The bid, which was for both 2011 and 2012, came in around $12,000 lower than Mueller-Sheimo Enterprises and about $28,000 higher than MLP Companies, Inc.

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All cost calculations are based on estimates. Director of Administrative Services Tom Dankert said every year the actual figures have been lower than the estimates.

Board member Steve King motioned to accept Duren Inc.’s bid, citing several reasons why it is the best choice even though it is not the least expensive.

“My reasoning is continuity of proven management, 90 cents lower price (per hour) than the last two-year bid he’s providing under and increased ridership and not wanting to jeopardize that with new management,” King said.

Dave Hillier, AMCAT board member, agreed with King, saying, “We reject the other bids because of lack of experience.”

MnDOT is set to either approve or deny the award by the end of next week.