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L.A. Council awards $160-million bus contract despite complaints

September 19, 2012 |  2:08 pm

A Department of Transportation DASH bus drives south on Beachwood Drive in the Hollywood Hills in July.

Unlike a boisterous committee meeting last week, there was no debate Wednesday -- in fact there was almost no discussion at all -- when the Los Angeles City Council quietly awarded a $160-million bus contract to a controversial bidder.

The $160-million, five-year agreement involves operating part of L.A.’s popular DASH shuttle bus service.

A coalition of groups has decried the recommended contractor, Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of an international firm they say is responsible for discrimination against Palestinians. Veolia denies the charges.

During a transportation committee meeting last week, the group pleaded with elected officials to dump Veolia and find another contractor. But the coalition found little support from officials on the transportation committee or on the full council Wednesday. The contract was approved 11-0.

Eric Romann, an organizer with the Dump Veolia L.A. coalition and a member of the Bus Riders Union, said his group was “definitely disappointed by the council’s decision.”

Romann said he would work with the coalition to examine other city contracts that have either been given to Veolia or other groups that could be involved in discrimination.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: A Department of Transportation DASH bus heads south on Beachwood Drive in the Hollywood Hills in July. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

Unlike a boisterous committee meeting last week, there was no debate – in fact there was almost no discussion at all – Wednesday when the Los Angeles City Council quietly awarded a $160-million bus contract to a controversial bidder.

 

The $160-million, five-year agreement involves operating part of L.A.’s popular DASH shuttle bus service.

 

A coalition of groups has decried the recommended contractor, Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of an international firm they say is responsible for discrimination against Palestinians. Veolia denies the charges.

 

During a transportation committee meeting last week, the group pleaded with elected officials to dump Veolia and find another contractor. But the coalition found little support from officials on the transportation committee or on the City Council on Wednesday, which approved the contract 11 – 0.

 

Eric Romann, an organizer with the Dump Veolia L.A. coalition and a member of the Bus Riders Union, said Wednesday his group was “definitely disappointed by the Council’s decision.”

 

Romann said he would work with the coalition to examine other city contracts that have either been given to Veolia or other groups that could be involved in discrimination.

 

-        Ari Bloomekatz

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