Detroit City Council ‘regrettably’ approves $49M, 5-year paratransit deal – Detroit News | CarTailz

Detroit – The city council on Tuesday approved a controversial five-year, $49 million paratransit deal for Transdev, a French company accused of providing subpar service to Detroit’s disabled drivers.

The nine-member council voted 5-3, with council members Latisha Johnson, Mary Waters and Angela Whitfield Calloway voting against the treaty. The other five members said they regretfully voted to keep the rides running in the new year. District 3 City Councilor Scott Benson was absent Tuesday.

It was a stressful vote for council members, who felt they faced a lose-lose dilemma: either pass the Transdev contract with no other alternative against the will of drivers, or reject it and sacrifice 70% of disabled transport services in the new year and possibly present the city with a legal challenge to restart the bidding process for contracts.

Detroit’s Executive Director of Transit Mikel Oglesby made the case to the council and the public that Transdev was the city’s sole contract offer for the bid. He warned that if the services are not approved Tuesday, they will be operating at 30% in the new year and DDOT will try to provide the best service possible.

The paratransit community has called for an end to Transdev, with key providers saying they have performed poorly in the city for the past six years. They have also asked for a reduced contract to hold the company accountable.

However, Oglesby has promised that in the new year the service “won’t be business as usual” as DDOT has taken much of its operations in-house. He also stated that shortening the contract is not possible “because it would destroy the integrity of the bidding process and expose the city to potential legal challenges from companies that may bid on a shorter contract.”

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