NEW CITY, New York (June 14, 2013) — Rockland Transit Corporation filed a lawsuit today in New York Supreme Court in Westchester County against the County of Rockland to challenge that county’s apparent contract award to Brega Transportation Corporation to operate and support the “Transport of Rockland” and “Tappan Zee Express” public bus systems.
Valley Cottage, New York-based Rockland Transit Corp. said they are challenging the contract award because it resulted “from a decision-making process that is inconsistent with the county’s solicitation and in violation of New York laws” designed to ensure that public contracts are awarded on a fair and equal basis. Rockland Transit has asked a New York court to reverse this contract award and to direct the county to re-bid the contract.Rockland Transit and its sister company, Hudson Transit, have provided these bus services to local residents and commuters for decades.“These services by Rockland Transit are important to all county residents, and thousands of county residents depend upon this bus service daily,” said George Grieve, president of Rockland Transit Corp. “Rockland County estimates that we provide about 3.4 million rides per year on these bus lines.”“Brega Transportation did not meet the minimum requirements for actual experience in operating a transit system the size of the County’s system,” opined Grieve.The county’s procurement officials – the county executive and the director of Purchasing – reached the same conclusion, finding that Brega failed to meet the minimum experience requirements identified in the solicitation and failed to commit to comply with applicable “Transit Employee Protective Agreements,” designed to protect the salaries and benefits of union employees providing transit services to the county. In Rockland Transit’s opinion under New York law, this should have resulted in the rejection of Brega’s bid because it is “non-responsive” or failed to meet material requirements set forth in the county’s solicitation.
On May 21, 2013, however, the Rockland County Legislature ignored the judgments of the county’s procurement officials by directing an award to Brega. In doing so, the County Legislature permitted Brega to supplement its bid with additional information well after bid opening and then relaxed key requirements in the solicitation for Brega alone. Rockland Transit contends that, on the other hand, they were not permitted to provide additional information about its bid or to submit a new bid based on these relaxed standards.
Rockland Transit believes that the County Legislature decision-making process violated New York’s procurement laws, Rockland Transit filed this lawsuit in order to ensure that it has an opportunity to compete for these services on a fair and equal basis.