It is a million dollar contract and more than one company wanted it, now some are questioning the process and history of the company producing the buses.
This new era in public transportation in Miami-Dade County comes with a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars that will be split between federal, state and local governments.
Miami-Dade County government is working to expand public transportation and take it into the future. This includes the purchase of new electric buses that will be used almost like trains in the South County Corridor.
Miami-Dade agreed to purchase 100 60-foot electric buses, 50 chargers, spare parts and training for a total value of $175,594.365 million.
The contract with the company New Flyer was approved without debate at the last meeting of the commission on Tuesday.
While another company, BYD, points to a fire on a New Flyer electric bus in Connecticut that happened last July. The bus was empty in the incident but is now under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The county transportation department calls this an isolated incident and says county experts will inspect each stage of construction.,
Juan Mendieta, Director of External Affairs for the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation, said that “before the buses are received, they also undergo a test called the Altoona test in Pennsylvania. Where these buses are operated under real conditions to ensure that May be that don’t be a problem. Finally, when these buses are received, there are more tests, more examinations to make sure that the buses are safe.”
The other company states that they were not given a fair chance. “A truly competitive process could have saved taxpayers $30 million.”
We are ready, willing and able to engage in discussions with the County that will result in the deployment of the safest battery electric buses in the industry.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan Carlos Bermudez explains that he was not selected in part “because he has a relationship with China and that’s the part that we’ve tried not to do properly because of the security issue and other political issues.” Issues we all know”.
The commissioners say they had a chance to provide information before approving the contract and could not delay their vote because the price could go up.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera confirms that “this is a competitive bidding, People put in their proposals, there is a selection group and this company is selected.
After financial problems in 2022 due to problems in the supply chain, New Flyer is hoping for a better year, while the county hopes to get the buses by 2024.