Wednesday, October 21, 2020

City to seek proposals for Airport Ferry Bus Transportation Service

The City of Prince Rupert is now accepting bids on the next
contract for ground services for the Prince Rupert Airport

The City of Prince Rupert has opened up its process to solicit interest from would be proponents to operate the ground transportation service between the Airport Shuttle location on Sixth Street and the Prince Rupert Airport on Digby Island.

In a Request for Proposal listing on the BC Bid website, the city has outlined the many elements of the service requirements in Prince Rupert that make it a rather unique project to take on.

In the summary of their RFP the city provides some background to the requirements of the service.

The City wishes to provide scheduled and unscheduled transportation services for passengers and baggage between a central location within the City of Prince Rupert and the Airport. The City has been experiencing growth in the region in recent months due to proposed industrial projects in the export / import sector. 

As such, the City foresees (but cannot confirm) an increase in air travel to the region, which may increase the current rates of travel for passengers from/to the Airport. Proponents should be mindful of this potential growth in preparing their Proposals.  

The City will operate a ferry capable of transporting motor buses and vehicles designed to carry passengers and baggage. However, Proponents are advised that both the ferry and terminal facility have size and capacity restrictions and that passage by all sizes of motor bus may not be feasible. 

Proponents should familiarize themselves with the operational conditions and restrictions associated with loading / unloading and transport of motor buses on the ferry. The City requires Proponents to propose costs for providing the Services with the use of either New Motor Buses or Used Motor Buses.

The RFP notes that the term of the contract for services will be that of five years with an end date of December of 2025.

The scope of what the successful proponent will be expected to deliver provides for six key elements that the city will consider from the submissions.

The Services shall comprise the following: 

(i) provision of motor bus transportation (including all labour, vehicles, equipment, and materials) between the Downtown Terminal and the Airport for every passenger arriving and departing on a Scheduled Flight (as defined herein) and an Unscheduled Flight (as defined herein) and baggage belonging to such passengers with motor buses equipped with reading lights, temperature control and music for the convenience and comfort of passengers. NOTE: The City is seeking proposals for the cost of Services utilizing New Motor Buses and Services utilizing Used Motor Buses. Proponents must submit costs in respect of both options, as set out in Part G in order to be considered. 

(ii) provision and maintenance of a dispatch office; 

(iii) provision of a manager, stationed in the City of Prince Rupert; 

(iv) provision of one employee, as supervisor and representative ("Representative") of the Service Provider, to accompany each motor bus during transportation of passengers to assist passengers, field queries, provide announcements and other similar services for the convenience of passengers; 

(v) presence of the Representative (or bus operator) at a visible location within the Airport in advance of passengers readying to board the motor bus in order to field passenger questions, provide information regarding ferry crossing times, general information regarding the City of Prince Rupert, departure and arrival times, and other relating enquiries and to direct passengers to line ups for the boarding of passengers onto motor buses; 

(vi) provision of radio transmission/telecommunication equipment on board each motor bus, or in possession of the Representative, capable of permitting mobile communication between the Representative, the Service Provider's dispatch office, the Manager and the City at all times during the transportation of passengers, all to be performed with consideration being given to a focus on safety, convenience and accessibility for passengers and value to the City.

With the Deadline for submissions set for October 30th, the timeline for the process of consideration is fairly compact, with the successful service provider to be in operation by December of this year.

The contact person for the City's RFP is Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller.

You can review the full prospectus from the BC Bid website.

Mayor Brain, City Manager Robert Long and 
Paul Vendittelli Manager of Transportation and Economic
Development  aboard one of the current Airport shuttle buses
(City of PR photo)

While the city's RFP makes note of hopeful days ahead for additional flights and expansive growth for the community, as the community heard at the most recent City Council session, the current reduced state of flight options for the airport during this period of COVID have made for some challenges of late.

In reply to some questions from Councillor Randhawa at the October 5th Council session, the City's CFO Corinne Bomben observed that at the moment the city is host to a reduced schedule of flights of once a day over the course of five days of the week. 

With Ms. Bomben adding at the time that any increase to service is in the hands of Air Canada the only air service provider to the community.

"We can ask, but it's not going to drive what Air Canada does, so the Airport authority I know has been very, very receptive to want to have seven days and then of course get back to two flights a day, cause that will help their organization, but presently Air Canada is the one that is driving that "-- Chief Financial Officer Corrine Bomben speaking at the October 5 Council session

You can review more notes on the city's Air Transportation and ground services from our archive page here.

A look at some of the previous requests for proposals by the City can be found on our archive page here, while a wider overview of City Council Discussion themes is available here.

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