The City of Whitehorse has awarded a contract for a transportation-demand management plan to a Victoria-based company, despite a bid from a firm with a local office.
The plan will give the city ideas about how to increase the number of people using transit, cycling and walking through the city. The aim is to reduce the number of vehicles with only one passenger.
On Monday, city council unanimously decided to give the job to Boulevard Transportation Group. The firm completed Whitehorse’s downtown parking management plan in 2011 and has worked for Vancouver Island University, the University of Victoria and Halifax Regional Municipality. The project will cost $71,340.
Lesley Cabott, a representative from Urban Systems, which has an office in Whitehorse, spoke to council before the decision was made. Its bid for the project came in second.
Both she and her colleague, project manager Zoe Morrison, live here. They both used to work in the city’s planning department.
“We thought that you would benefit from our local experience, that you would benefit from our expertise,” Cabott told council.
It seems the company lost the job because Boulevard Transportation’s project cost the least, said Cabott. Urban System’s was the most expensive of the five proposals considered. It cost $3,400 more than Boulevard Transportation Group’s, but scored just three points less in the overall evaluation.
Methodology was the most important part of project evaluation. Local content only counted for five per cent of the evaluation.
The city needs to consider both local jobs and costs when giving these contracts, said Mayor Dan Curtis after the meeting. Balancing local content with costs is a “tightrope,” he said. Local content is more of a factor for jobs requiring a lot of workers, like construction work, he said. This project was more about ideas, so it wasn’t as much of a factor, said Curtis.