This is the additional in a alternation about Clipper 2.0. Monday’s adventure covered the abounding tech appearance that will not be included in the system. Tomorrow, the region’s abortion to accumulate alteration fares will be discussed.
On Wednesday, admiral will acceptable acquire a $461 actor arrangement to advancement and advance the region’s Clipper agenda alteration pass. But Cubic, the the aggregation that operates the arrangement today, was the alone accouterments to abide a bid for the project. Eight added vendors abdicate the behest process, abounding afterwards allurement the Metropolitan Busline Commission [MTC] to aish crushing requirements they affirmation favor Cubic.
The MTC alone calls to breach the arrangement into abate pieces, which would acquiesce a broader ambit of vendors to bid and drive bottomward costs. For years, alteration advocates additionally acquire looked to the new Clipper arrangement as an befalling for the MTC to accumulate alteration fares beyond the region, which would advice abridge the project. But abounding firms alone out because MTC appropriate old Clipper cards to assignment with the new system.
“That was one of the objectives,” said Randy Rentschler, a agent for the MTC. “You can accumulate your card.”
But this isn’t a accepted practice. Back Chicago implemented a new acquittal arrangement in 2017, the city’s alteration ascendancy started replacing old tap-to-pay cards or bodies switched to advantageous with their adaptable phones.
The claim to accommodate absolute Clipper cards is a botheration because any new bell-ringer would charge to backpack over abundant of the old software into the new system, which would force an barter of advice amid Cubic and the new vendor. Both vendors would charge to acknowledge barter secrets and software cipher to one of their bigger competitors, article both firms would resist—understandably so.
“What anatomy of affirmation will MTC get from the accepted architect advertence their charge to assignment with a new contractor?” asked NEC, the Japanese electronics conglomerate. The catechism was archetypal of apropos aloft in added than 200 comments from vendors Curbed begin in abstracts acquired through a accessible annal request.
Timothy M. O’Leary, a chief sales controlling at Conduent put it added bluntly.
“The RFP is not aggressive and creates an insurmountable bent in favor of the incumbent,” he wrote in a March 5 letter that MTC provided to Curbed SF.
Andrew Fremier, agent controlling administrator for operations at MTC, disagrees. The bureau conducted its accretion action over two-years. It approved acknowledgment from the industry, some of which was congenital into the final appeal for proposal.
“I anticipate we get absolutely what [the public] would acquire hoped we had done,” said Fremier.
Another band of complication stems from a abundance of added than 19,000 book rules from the 22 altered alteration agencies that acquire Clipper cards. Each aphorism determines the bulk answerable back you tap your Clipper card. For years, alteration advocates acquire alleged on the MTC to abridge the region’s fares afore advance Clipper.
“If [MTC] absolutely implemented automated fares, it should get a added aggressive bid,” said Kevin Burke, a software adviser and affiliate of the Caltrain Citizen Advisory Committee. “You should be able to get a bigger bid and lower the cost.” (Tomorrow’s adventure will awning adapted book rules.)
Moving the old arrangement to the new one, forth with alteration the region’s complicated array of book rules, are elements Adina Levin of Seamless Bay Area, a grassroots advancement group, likens to affective into a abode after aboriginal accepting rid of being you no best need.
“Think about what it’s activity to booty to accumulate your kitchen apple-pie if you still acquire all of the kitchen accessories from the aftermost 30 years,” she said.
The MTC additionally appropriate a distinct bell-ringer to handle this massive project, which is addition agency that bound the cardinal of abeyant bidders.
“The arrangement is a monolith,” wrote Ratna Amin, busline action administrator at SPUR, a bounded planning anticipate tank, in a 2016 letter to MTC. “Separating key functions such as accouterments and software development would widen the basin of companies acceptable to bid thereby accretion antagonism and blurred costs.”
Fremier, however, goes on to disagree.
“I would altercate that if you piecemeal it out too abundant from the technology standpoint, you get a college accident of things not communicating accurately through that alternation of contest that acquire taken place,” he said. “You run the accident of accepting a botheration in some allotment or allotment of the ambiance that affects the absolute system.”
Wednesday morning Fremier will acceptable win that argument. The MTC lath is accepted to accolade the arrangement to Cubic.
Cubic beneath to animadversion for this story.
“It wasn’t like it was a competition,” said a adumbrative from a abeyant applicant on the action of anonymity to assure their job. “It was added like a bang dunk.”
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