I’ve been reading through the town’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for our new Real-Time Passenger Information System and Automatic Vehicle Location system for Chapel Hill Transit.

There’s some interesting goofs (missing section 3.B.6) and specifications (Microsoft ODBC) in a document which appears to be a cut-n-paste of Triangle Transit, Federal and local requirements.

From the RFP we see

The System shall undergo functional testing onsite in a test environment for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to May 1, 2006. Confidence testing shall occur during production use of the System between May 1, 2006 and June 15, 2006. Every route must be assigned an equipped vehicle and data collected for comparison to the actual. CHT will issue written Acceptance of the System within 15 days of establishing that the System meets all contract requirements and upon completion of the Confidence testing period.

I’ve yet to see the actual results of the functional testing, the results of evaluating the RFP’s stated criteria (including the ADA requirements) and whether we solicited bids from vendors known to use WiFi/WiMAX technologies but probably not be aware of our town’s interest in their RTIS/AVL systems.

Ellen, over on OrangePolitics, wonders if NextBus will deliver digital signs with audio alerts for “a person who is blind gets there and tries to access then and cant read it or a person who cant read but can hear and understand verbal communication”.

While the RFP mentions ADA 49CFR Part 37.167 and 49CFR Part 38.5 , both which require some kind of audio notifications, we won’t know for sure if those requirements were adhered to as part of the evaluation process until we see the results of the functional testing.

It’ll be a shame if, on top of a wasted $950,000 opportunity, the town has to kick in extra funds to be ADA compliant.

Another part of the RFP I’m interested in is page 33 of 53, Exhibit 8, Certification Of Restrictions On Lobbying.

As I noted before, Congressman Price, in 2002, got a $2,000 campaign contribution from a NextBus executive and another $2,000 from NextBus’ registered lobbyists.

The grant funding the new system was approved in 2003.

And, as recently noted by the HeraldSun

This was something that Rep. David Price’s [D-4th district] office became involved in, that there were federal dollars available for transit enhancement,” Neufang said. “We’re very appreciative that Cong. Price has assisted us in this process.

EXHIBIT 8:

Certification Of Restrictions On Lobbying

(To be submitted with all bids or offers exceeding $100,000; must be executed prior to Award)
The undersigned certifies, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, that:
(Contractor)

1. No Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid, by or on behalf of the undersigned, to any persons for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with the awarding to any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.

2. If any funds other than Federal appropriated funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this Federal contract, grant loan, or cooperative agreement, the undersigned shall complete and submit Standard Form-LLL, “Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying”, in accordance with its instructions [as amended by “Government wide Guidance for New Restrictions on Lobbying,” 61 Fed. Reg. 1413 (1/19/96). Note: language in paragraph (2) herein has been modified in accordance with Section 10 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-65, to be codified at 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq .)]

3. The undersigned shall require that the language of this certification be included in the award documents for all subawards at all tiers (including subcontracts, subgrants, and contracts under grants, loans, and cooperative agreements) and that all subrecipients shall certify and disclose accordingly.

This certification is a material representation of fact upon which reliance is placed when this transaction was made or entered into. Submission of this certification is a prerequisite for making or entering into this transactions imposed by 31, U.S.C. 1352 (as amended by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995). Any person who fails to file the required certification shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $100,000 for each such failure. [Note: Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 1352(c)(1)-(2)(A), any person who makes a prohibited expenditure or fails to file or amend a required certification or disclosure form shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 for each such expenditure or failure.]

The Contractor, ___________________, certifies or affirms the truthfulness and accuracy of each statement of its certification and disclosure, if any. In addition, the Contractor understands and agrees that the provisions of 31 U.S.C. Section A 3801 et seq., apply to this certification and disclosure, if any.

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