Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby danib62 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:55 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:There were only 2 bidders last time. Any pol who thinks this is such a sought-after 'get' that the floodgates will be open is sorely mistaken. That includes the groups capable of doing rolling stock (which the previous 3 incumbents could, if their contracts went that far). Something something definition of insanity.


Baker's steering this somewhere to a preference that's his/his staff's, for reasons that are his. And not offering a lot of tea leaves about the reasoning.


I think the issue here is that the current contract is extremely unrealistic and the state has already had to bail our Keolis. Even if the state were pleased as punch with Keolis they'd need to rebid the contract in order to significantly restructure it. All the state announced is they're not exercising their option to extend the contract for 2 years beyond 2022 at the same terms. I don't think anyone (even Keolis) would have wanted that...
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby NealG » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:04 pm

CPF363 wrote: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is a private company owned by the state after all.


Nope. It is a body politic and subject to the same and similar rules and regulations that govern other bodies politic, like the other authorities (Massport, Steamship, other RTAs, Convention Center, etc), commissions, and municipal corporations (IE the cities and towns). Bankruptcy isn't generally an option (technically, it may be in some cases, but must go through the General Court, which would in no way, no how, ever approve of such a thing). Receivership by the Commonwealth is usually the only option for reorganization.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby BandA » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:02 pm

A bankruptcy or receivership wouldn't help them with CR since it is already contracted out to a private company. It would allow them to tear up the contract, but the T isn't ready to bid a new contract and doesn't have the capability to take things in house. Plus any new contract would be at a higher price. And they already have the Fiscal Management Control Board which seems to be doing a good job and gives them everything on the CR side that receivership would. Bankruptcy would allow the T to renounce their debt, but that isn't going to happen. On the Subway/Bus side there are benefits to receivership / bankruptcy, but that is for another thread.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:51 pm

So much misinformation by the media and misunderstanding by the public.

Prediction: Keolis will be deemed the contractor once again with a more lucrative contract. Probably no one else will even bid.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby dbperry » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:02 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:So much misinformation by the media and misunderstanding by the public.

Prediction: Keolis will be deemed the contractor once again with a more lucrative contract. Probably no one else will even bid.


AMEN.

This whole topic and reporting by the news media was NOT A REAL STORY. Let's flip the story...as I said on twitter: how many of you would tell your cell phone carrier (or cable company, etc.) that no matter what they did for the next five years, you will renew your contract in five years with them? That makes no sense.

Secretary Pollack responded to a letter from a legislator by re-stating the obvious: the contract with Keolis expires in 2022 and they have every intention of conducting a new re-compete at that time. And they might change the structure of the contract to make it better (for passengers, contractor, MBTA, everyone). How is that even news? Isn't that overstating the obvious? What is the alternative to that?

Rather than dis-incentivize Keolis, the statement from Secretary Pollack that Keolis won't be handed a no-bid automatic extension INCREASES the incentive for them to perform well over the next five years - so they are in a good position for the re-compete in the 2019-2022 period.

Furthermore, there is nothing binding about any of this. Who knows where we are in 2019 or 2022 - the contract still includes the 2 year extension provisions, and MBTA / MassDOT can still elect to exercise those options under the contract provisions. Just cause a politician says something today doesn't mean it won't change tomorrow (see: "no new taxes" or "Mexico will pay for the wall").

The two newspapers that contacted me last night for comments on the "Keolis getting fired" story didn't even end up running the story in any form. And many of the stories that were published in the initial rush to print were heavily re-written. The Fox 25 (written, not video) story seems to be the closest to the truth at this point, and I like that they have included both the Secretary's follow-up statement and the Keolis follow-up statement.

http://www.fox25boston.com/news/commute ... /481594367

We should really move onto much more important news: The no-pants subway ride.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby CPF363 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:12 am

BandA wrote:A bankruptcy or receivership wouldn't help them with CR since it is already contracted out to a private company. It would allow them to tear up the contract, but the T isn't ready to bid a new contract and doesn't have the capability to take things in house. Plus any new contract would be at a higher price. And they already have the Fiscal Management Control Board which seems to be doing a good job and gives them everything on the CR side that receivership would. Bankruptcy would allow the T to renounce their debt, but that isn't going to happen. On the Subway/Bus side there are benefits to receivership / bankruptcy, but that is for another thread.

Maybe it is time to consider breaking the MBTA into two, with one piece being the Commuter Rail and the other Subway and Buses.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby jaymac » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:55 am

CPF363 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:12 am
Maybe it is time to consider breaking the MBTA into two, with one piece being the Commuter Rail and the other Subway and Buses.

What benefit would happen from such a split?
Before the MTA became the MBTA, the Great and General Court was often unmoved to provide adequate funding for a strictly city-and-inner-suburbs operation. The geographical expansion and rebranding helped somewhat, as did involvement in commuter rail to the outer suburbs. Being taken under the MassDOT umbrella and having T presence on the Knowledge Corridor and the North Adams scenic shuttle have helped increase the T's palatability to the west-of-Worcester-County legislators who vote on the T's budget. It would seem that reverting to a Boston-v.-the-rest-of-the-Commonwealth separation would bring about a return to the even-worse old days.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby Trinnau » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:25 pm

jaymac wrote:
CPF363 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:12 am
Maybe it is time to consider breaking the MBTA into two, with one piece being the Commuter Rail and the other Subway and Buses.

What benefit would happen from such a split?
Before the MTA became the MBTA, the Great and General Court was often unmoved to provide adequate funding for a strictly city-and-inner-suburbs operation. The geographical expansion and rebranding helped somewhat, as did involvement in commuter rail to the outer suburbs. Being taken under the MassDOT umbrella and having T presence on the Knowledge Corridor and the North Adams scenic shuttle have helped increase the T's palatability to the west-of-Worcester-County legislators who vote on the T's budget. It would seem that reverting to a Boston-v.-the-rest-of-the-Commonwealth separation would bring about a return to the even-worse old days.


The problem is they are operationally different animals with different needs, however they share some common stations and interfaces (ie fare collection). The is still a public "commuter rail" vs. "T" (meaning subway/bus) divide. Take the T's "endorsed" mobile app. Many feel there are better commuter rail apps, but by homogenizing on one app they are not necessarily endorsing the best product for commuter rail customers though it may be the best overall.

The T is not involved in the Knowledge Corridor or North Adams. MassDOT is - outside of the T. MassDOT bought the Worcester Line, Grand Junction and the Framingham Secondary (not the MBTA). MassDOT owns a lot of the Cape property. So where in the '70s the T bough rail lines, now MassDOT is buying them outside of the MBTA umbrella. So what does that mean for the future?
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby The EGE » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:21 pm

And having everything under one roof encourages passenger-experience-enhancing planning like fare commonality, schedules timed for good connections, shared goals on multimodal projects, etc. We don't want to be like Chicago where the commuter rail and rapid transit / bus divisions have different boards and different accountability and different fares and basically refuse to talk to each other.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby Red Wing » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:29 pm

MBTA is owned by MASSDOT. MBTA Equipment and personal was used to assist with the Knowledge Corridor and I believe North Adams. My guess on the line purchasing it is much more appetizing for many to have MASSDOT buy the lines politically.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:00 pm

Red Wing wrote:MBTA is owned by MASSDOT. MBTA Equipment and personal was used to assist with the Knowledge Corridor and I believe North Adams. My guess on the line purchasing it is much more appetizing for many to have MASSDOT buy the lines politically.


Due to the district charter, any such out-of-district borrows of MBTA equipment and personnel get reimbursed 1:1 by MassDOT. Just like out-of-district running in Rhode Island gets reimbursed by RIDOT and Cape Flyer has its outside funding agreements for south-of-Middleboro. The district is easy to circumvent for practicalities like "Providence is a major constituency for the 495-belt towns we serve, therefore we have to accommodate cross-border service" and "it would be redundant for MassDOT to have a rail department of its own when freight line inspections are intermittent and engineering tasks are on-offs." But the district does provide protections against scope creep and against town assessments being used to fund scope creep, so it's a necessary check on abuse of power even with the T now being a subservient agency.

As for why some lines are T purchases and some are MassDOT, that probably has a lot to do with red tape from the 1973 Penn Central and 1976 B&M buys vs. the fresh transactions that came later. Otherwise you'd probably see some $1 ownership transfers or lease games of freight-only lines like Peabody (for now), Greenville, Bedford, Millis Industrial, Eastie transacted off the T's ledgers to the MassDOT mothership, and the abandoned/trailed lines likewise scraped off to DCR (either direct or via transaction to MassDOT then lease to DCR). But I'm guessing there's some legacy cruft to square in the fine print adding extra steps to that process which they don't need to be making. Definitely any revenue service additions on MassDOT ownership--like Middleboro-Buzzards Bay or Foxboro--would get swapped over inter-departmentally.


The only way the T's operating completely out-of-district without expanding the district is by replicating the RIDOT Pilgrim Partnership, which has certainly proven itself elastic enough to be a good template. Any border pokes to NH would go under the same terms, but T- (or T's operator-) operated Knowledge Corridor service would also have to have some sort of artificial construct of that sort. It's probably easier, though, to do a reverse-Pilgrim where CDOT is the operator and MassDOT puts itself in the RIDOT role of cutting the checks and taking on a strictly paper ownership share for the % of CDOT resources that cross the border. Much less unnecessary overhead on ops that way, and MassDOT can still borrow the T on 1:1 reimbursement for one-off engineering and capital construction.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby BandA » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:37 pm

I don't think splitting off CR would help. It's already functionally separate in operations. They share purchasing, do they share planning? I think they even have separate unions. Would be nice if they hurry up the Charlie Card II and make it CR compatible, and implement distance fares that are equitable between modes.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:18 am

BandA wrote:I don't think splitting off CR would help. It's already functionally separate in operations. They share purchasing, do they share planning? I think they even have separate unions. Would be nice if they hurry up the Charlie Card II and make it CR compatible, and implement distance fares that are equitable between modes.


Lot of the planning is consolidated, and being consolidated moreso over time. It makes less sense than it did, say, a decade ago to consider splitting off the agencies. There's also a third wheel in the mix in some of the outlying Regional Transit Agencies who run the 495-area bus districts. Many of those (LRTA, MVTA, MRTA, BAT) already manage the commuter rail stations within their districts for parking, plowing, maintenance, etc. Wachusett, for instance, was a big T + MRTA partnership...so while the state spent a lot taxpayer money for that station the MBTA agency did not bear all of the cost burden alone as the intermodal center (park-and-ride + new shuttle bus services to Gardner and Great Wolf) were primary MRTA initiatives. That offset for the RTA's already affects the assessment given to outer-district towns who belong to an RTA vs. inner-district towns contained within the T's bus and paratransit system. If anything the RTA's need lots more funding love going forward so they can expand their district reach, absorb more intensive station management for more of the 495-belt CR stops, and step up their involvement in multimodal planning so the 'vision thing' for those stops involves a whole lot more than just parking sinks airlifted from Boston.



Yes...RR unions are completely different from bus/rapid transit. Boston Carmen's Local 589 is an Amalgamated Transit Union affiliate, with ATU being strictly bus, rapid transit, paratransit, and back-end support staff therein. ATU and its like-minded transit unions delegate a lot of authority to the local posts, which is why the Carmen's Union is a household name and synonymous with 'the' T workers union. The RR unions primarily break along job functions: train crews, MoW and/or signal, shop, etc. And because RR's are orders-of-magnitude tighter federally regulated there's a lot less local flavor and influence and a lot more hegemony between regions (i.e. no Carmen's Local-level concentration of power in the local posts). Which is a function of the hiring market for any local RR workers being competitive between multiple railroads with similar and largely 'portable' union membership: T, Amtrak, CSX, PAR, P&W, etc. They all hire from each other, and their workers all plot their rise up the career ladder by changing roads. Whereas if you're an ATU et al. transit worker based in Greater Boston and not working for a school bus company or one of the other niche employers that ATU serves like public-private shuttles (e.g. the LMA's, university buses, senior shuttles) or an ambulance company (i.e. still a 'public'-service form of transit, albeit radically different in function)...you're pretty much working for the T and are a Carmen's member. Or living in a suburb and commuting to an identical job at one of the RTA's.

Difference between closed, very region-specific transit networks vs. playing in the same labor pool as national common carriers. SEPTA found out the hard way in the early-80's how inapplicable transit workers are to RR jobs with one of its ill-fated rail shuttle experiments, so that's an everlasting difference in labor organization by transit sector. Every state that has an agency managing all forms of transit statewide or in a district administers both the transit-side and RR-side labor agreements. The MTA, NJ Transit, SEPTA...even Amtrak with baggage handlers (usually ATU-affiliated instead of RR union -affiliated) and Thruway buses. As do some 'mothership'-level DOT or regional agencies that manage mode-specific sub-agencies like a subservient commuter rail district (e.g. Caltrain, which is managed by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board). It's a very common arrangement--arguably most common amongst mixed-mode agengies depending on how loose your definition of "subservient" is for those Caltrain-like getups--to have transit workers and RR workers mixed under a common roof without that being administratively contradictory. Union membership would never be a reason to split commuter rail off from the rest of the T. Something else very big, convincing, and broadly obvious would have to compel that decision.
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:57 pm

The EGE wrote:And having everything under one roof encourages passenger-experience-enhancing planning like fare commonality, schedules timed for good connections, shared goals on multimodal projects, etc.


But that implies that we actually have any of those things - and we don't.

Fare commonality:
Sure, you can buy commuter rail fares at subway vending machines, but it's not publicized, hardly anyone actually realizes this, and it's not user-friendly since all it offers you is zones - you have to already know which zone your station is in. But there are no transfers offered, and you cannot use a CharlieCard to pay for the commuter rail. Not even as payment media to buy a ticket from a machine.
Despite being separate agencies, Chicago has better fare integration than that!

Schedueld connections:
Has the T ever done that? They can't even do such simple things as have a once-per-hour bus hold 30 seconds for people sprinting up from a subway train. Some of the RTAs might have buses intended for transferring to the commuter rail, but I would be genuinely surprised if there was enough communication (or will) for the T to actually hold a train if that bus is late.

Multimodal projects:
There are only a handful of stations where the CR and rapid transit intersect, and several of them don't even have direct connections already - so this clearly doesn't really matter to the T. Plus, the major transfer stations are already shared with other agencies anyway (e.g. Amtrak), and the T has demonstrated that they can cooperate with the RTAs and Amtrak for station planning, so I don't see that as an impediment.

I'm willing to bet passenger experience wouldn't change at all if you spun the CR off from the T.

In fact if you consider a future with regional train service around the state - Cape Flyer, Knowledge Corridor, Inland Route, state-sponsored trains to Springfield, maybe even on P&W, wouldn't it make more sense for all of these services to be under the same umbrella (MassDOT)?
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Re: Keolis Contract Will Not Be Extended; New Bid for 2022

Postby CRail » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:37 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:Fare commonality:
Sure, you can buy commuter rail fares at subway vending machines, but it's not publicized, hardly anyone actually realizes this, and it's not user-friendly since all it offers you is zones - you have to already know which zone your station is in. But there are no transfers offered, and you cannot use a CharlieCard to pay for the commuter rail. Not even as payment media to buy a ticket from a machine.
Despite being separate agencies, Chicago has better fare integration than that!

-Zone 1A is exactly that.
-Commuter Rail passes are accepted on all trains and local buses.
-Commuter Rail passes zone 2 and up are accepted on express buses.
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