July 14, 2024

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Emily Secord: ‘Does LTD really need this mobility management consultant?’

6 min read
The LTD Contract Committee reviewed a contract worth up to $220,000 with the Toole Design Group.

The LTD Contract Committee reviewed a contract worth up to $220,000 with the Toole Design Group.

Mobility Management and the Strategic Business Plan will drive decisions LTD makes in the future. Planners told the Contract Committee they budgeted $325,000 in federal money for consulting. Andrew Martin.

Andrew Martin: [00:00:16] This contract would enter us into an agreement with Toole Design Group to develop a mobility management strategy. It really is a new approach to our industry. We’re seeing a lot of new technology and new partnerships opening up opportunities for transit agencies to provide services that weren’t previously possible. So staff—we selected Toole Design Group after a competitive RFP process. We had put out a Request For Proposals.

John Q: [00:00:42] The RFP asked for several products over the next year.

Andrew Martin: [00:00:46] First off we need a public involvement plan. Moving forward, we’d like our board to approve a public involvement plan for each of our projects. The mobility framework would be a key component. We’re also looking for help developing a guide to develop and run pilot projects because we see pilot projects as a really great way to test whether or not our ideas are working, continue to iterate and build successful programs.

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And then we’d like to run the tool and do a little bit of to use it and develop a list of potential projects we could be working towards, understanding that’s not a comprehensive, it’s not meant to be all projects we could do, but to generate some ideas and really use the tool and make sure that we’re comfortable with it.

And we’re really looking for some creative and innovative solutions to help us to figure out where we go with these issues.

Kristin Kokkeler: [00:01:34] My name is Kristen Kokkeler and I am the procurement specialist here at Lane Transit District.

John Q: [00:01:39] Kristin explained how bids would be evaluated.

Kristin Kokkeler: [00:01:42] Here is our evaluation criteria. Strength and creativity of project approach is the most heavily weighted with 35 points. This is the extent to which the firm’s proposal addresses the key technical areas of importance and the tasks as listed in the scope of services and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the scope.

Next is our past performance and experience with 20 points. So this is the extent to which the firm has demonstrated competence in performing similar work and or the extent of its former client satisfaction.

Proposal pricing. So this category will examine proposer’s expense budget as it’s related to the services as sought by LTD and an assessment of the appropriateness of pay for the jobs to be performed and ability to attract and maintain employees will also be evaluated.

Your key personnel and capacity. This is the extent to which the firm has personnel, equipment, capacity, and necessary experience and training to actually perform this work.

And our workforce diversity commitment is going to be allotted 10 points.

John Q: [00:02:50] Amanda Skeene from Transpro Systems.

Amanda Skeene: [00:02:53] I noticed that it says, suggested approach and you definitely emphasized creativity, but can you give an idea of how welcoming the agency will be to embrace those alternative solutions you want to call them there? How big is your box? How will it move inside of it?

Andrew Martin: [00:03:12] I think that we are looking to expand our toolbox to, that’s the purpose of this, is to really expand our toolbox.

New modes are appearing in our community. And really the heart of this is we’d really like to figure out what our strategy is with engaging or not with all of these new modes. And it should be future-proof too.

John Q: [00:03:29] Andrew announced the winning bid to the Contract Committee.

Andrew Martin: [00:03:32] We received three bids and we selected Toole Design Group based on really a strong and creative approach to the project including their public involvement that they proposed, their focus on equity in their proposal, and the way that they suggested that we develop this assessment framework. The total value of the contract is up to $220,000 and the funding comes from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund.

John Q: [00:03:57] LTD Board Member Emily Secord.

Emily Secord: [00:04:00] Great. Andrew, can you tell us what you hope to get out of this project? Is there an ideal outcome as far as what you’re hoping that the design group will present after their consulting services are completed?

Andrew Martin: [00:04:11] Yeah. The outcome of this, we’re gonna be doing case studies and talking with other agencies and looking at other projects to find out how transit agencies have been successful in different roles and what roles frankly don’t work. We’re going to work on developing a guide to pilots because we found ourselves in a situation where we’re doing these pilots. We want to really make sure that we have background to do pilots successfully, because those will be important as we’re testing all these different things we’ve never had experience with before.

Finally, the big result will be a mobility assessment framework I don’t have a good catchy name for yet (laughs). We’re going to have to work on that, but really, we want to go through and really I think use this framework to look at these projects.

Emily Secord: [00:04:53] Andrew, I’m just feeling really budget conscious. Do you feel like we need this consultant? I know it’s STIF money . And so we always feel like it’s, it’s fine cause it’s federal dollars, but I pay federal tax dollars every year, too. And so I’m really just budget conscious. Do you feel like the LTD needs this consultant? Or do you feel like we have people that can manage this without going out for a consultant?

Andrew Martin: [00:05:16] Could we do this in house? So part of the work will be done in-house. Tom (Schwetz) and I actually had a lot of conversations. The full STIF award was for $325,000. So we do want to use some of the money to have our staff work on it and reimburse ourselves for some of that grant.

The advantage to using a consultant is that we really want to leverage their outside experience. I’m really excited by the approach that they bring. And the creativity and experience that they have is definitely something that we don’t have. And working collaboratively with them I think we’ll be able to come up with a better strategy because we were clear: We’re not Portland, we’re not New York. All of these kinds of modes, we want to talk about them in the context of the LTD and who we are, and staff definitely can help guide the consultants on that. But they’re going to have a lot of ideas on what’s worked for others and what’s working elsewhere that we maybe haven’t encountered yet.

John Q: [00:06:10] Board member Steven Yett.

Steven Yett: [00:06:12] There should be some basic checklist that board members are given at the very beginning before the process even starts, Hey, we’re going to be sending this contract out for bid, we’re putting an RFP out. It would be helpful to get the other folks who responded and also the criteria, the checklist that you guys use. What sort of metrics did you and Tom and your team go into the process expecting, starting off with, for instance, again, how many responses you expected to get?

Maybe at most a one page recap, and then add just simply a little information about the winning company. I think it would help the contract board and then the board at large to know a little bit about the organization you chose: How big are they? Is this contract going to be huge for them? Or is this going to be just one of many contracts? Or, again, this contract is worth $250,000 (making up numbers here) and their typical run rate is $100,000,000 or it’s $750,000. And if it’s the latter, that would beg the question: Is this too big of a contract for them? Are we engaging the right folks?

I do get questions as a board member. How come so-and-so has this contract? And just being able to know these basic points about the process.

John Q: [00:07:38] Collina Beard.

Collina Beard: [00:07:39] So it’s our pleasure to do that. We’re noting all of those things and we’ll provide those as we move forward. And what I will say is we’d be glad to amend the agenda items, summaries that we currently have and provide that information in the board packet.

John Q: [00:07:54] The contract now moves to the full LTD board. They meet May 19 at 7 p.m.

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