Colorado Revised Statutes Title 32 Special Districts § 32-9-1195 Competition to provide vehicular service within the regional transportation district

(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:  Public transportation services are provided to assist the transit-dependent and the poor, to relieve congestion, and to minimize automotive pollution;  public transportation service should be provided at the lowest possible cost consistent with desired service and safety;  private transportation providers have been effectively used under competitive contracts to provide public transportation services at lower costs and with lower annual cost increases;  obtaining cost-competitive public transportation services requires the establishment of a mechanism for competitive contracting;  facilities and vehicles purchased for public transportation service are public assets which are held in the public trust;  contracting for services has historically provided opportunities for minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises;  and it is the intent of the general assembly that disadvantaged business enterprises, as defined in part 23 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations, as amended, shall have the maximum opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts.

(2)(a) The district may implement a system under which up to fifty-eight percent of the district's vehicular service is provided by qualified private businesses pursuant to competitively negotiated contracts.

(c) The district shall promulgate reasonable standards with respect to experience, safety records, and financial responsibility by which private providers can be qualified to provide vehicular services pursuant to this section.

(d) The district shall prepare a standard form of agreement to provide vehicular services.  Such contract shall include:

(I) The specification of reasonable passenger comfort and safety characteristics of the equipment used;

(II) The specification of standards for access to vehicular services for persons with disabilities, which shall be as specified in the district's plan for such services as approved by the federal transit administration;

(III) The specification for reasonable training and safety records to be required of any driver;

(IV) A provision for reasonable insurance protecting the district from liability for the acts, negligence, or omission of the provider, its agents, and its employees;

(V) Reasonable standards for reliability and on-time performance;

(VI) Reasonable penalties for inadequate performance, including the district's right to cancel the contract;

(VII) Provisions for the use of the district's logo, transfers, transit ways, bus stops, and such other elements as are owned by the district and appropriate for use by the provider to provide coordinated service with the district;

(VIII) A provision that the provider shall retain fifty to one hundred percent of the passenger fares and remit the balance of such fares to the district;

(IX) A provision that the provider, at its sole risk and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, shall have the right to sell additional services, including food and other services to its passengers, and to sell advertising except as prohibited by existing contracts, freight, charter, and other services using the provider's vehicles;

(X) The term of the agreement, which shall be as follows:

(A) For any agreement under which the district shall supply vehicles for use by the provider and if such vehicles have been financed under any section of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, that provides tax-free status for such vehicles, a term of not more than three years, including any renewal options;

(B) For any agreement under which the district shall supply vehicles for use by the provider and if such vehicles have not been financed under any section of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, that provides tax-free status for such vehicles, a term of not more than five years, including any renewal options;  or

(C) For any agreement under which the provider shall supply its own vehicles, a term of years as negotiated by the district and the provider;  and

(XI) No provision specifying wages, benefits, work rules, work conditions, or union organization of the employees of the provider beyond compliance with applicable regulation and law, including compliance with the “Federal Transit Act”, 49 U.S.C. sec. 5333(b) .

(3)(a)(I) Subject to the requirements of the “Federal Transit Act”, as amended, the district may request proposals from private providers to provide up to fifty-eight percent of all of the vehicular service of the district as measured by vehicle hours or vehicle hour equivalents.  The district's decision as to which vehicular services are subject to requests for proposals must represent the district's total vehicular service operations;  except that each individual request for proposals may designate one type of vehicular service.  Service provided by private businesses pursuant to this section shall be accomplished through attrition of the district's full-time employees.  Layoffs shall not occur solely as a result of the implementation of this section.  If the director of the division of labor standards and statistics in the department of labor and employment orders an arbitration pursuant to section 8-3-113(3), C.R.S ., the arbitrator shall not have the power to establish a level of vehicular service to be provided by private businesses in accordance with this section.

(II) The district shall establish reasonable standards for vehicle hour equivalents for all vehicular services that are not ordinarily measured by vehicle hours.

(b) Each request for proposals shall specify the route or service area, service frequency or hours of operation, and the entire structure of maximum fares determined by the district.  Such request for proposals shall include the district's estimate of passenger revenue.  Each request for proposals shall also specify any federal funds available for vehicle capital assistance whether through reimbursement of eligible depreciation expenses or through lease of vehicles owned by the district.

(c) Each individual request for proposals shall reflect the district's determination as to the appropriate size for each such request in order to maximize the number of qualified providers submitting proposals without causing undue operating inefficiencies.

(c.5) Each request for proposals shall specify all of the evaluation factors to be used by the district in awarding the contract and the weight to be given by the district for each factor.  The evaluation factors shall include the cost to the district, cost related factors, non-cost factors such as performance history of comparable services provided in-state or out-of-state, financial stability, managerial experience, operational plan, employee recruitment and training, and any other factors identified by the district.  No award shall be made based on cost to the district alone, and in no event shall such cost be weighted more than thirty-five percent in making an award determination.

(d) Any qualified provider may respond to any request for proposals.  The district shall ensure that disadvantaged business enterprises, as defined in part 23 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations, as amended, have the greatest possible opportunity to respond.  Any response shall be timely if received by the district within the time specified in its request for proposals, which shall not exceed ninety days nor be less than forty-five days.  Each response shall specify the least cost to the district required by the provider submitting the proposal to provide the services described in the request for proposals.  If it determines the public interest requires such, the district retains the right to enter into noncompetitively awarded contracts on an interim basis for the time needed to implement the request for proposal process.

(e)(I) With respect to each request for proposals, the district shall award the contract based on a consideration of the evaluation factors established pursuant to paragraph (c.5) of this subsection (3).  Each contract shall be effective not later than ninety days after its award.  If the district determines that no responsive proposals are received for a request for proposals or that the proposals submitted would not be in the best interests of the district to accept, the district may reject such proposals and may, in its discretion, solicit new proposals for the designated service in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(5) Any person qualified to provide vehicular services pursuant to subsection (2) of this section who does not require a district subsidy shall be able to provide vehicular services within the district.  Such person shall execute the district's standard form of agreement to provide vehicular services;  except that such person shall be free to determine and retain passenger fares.  Vehicles operated pursuant to this subsection (5) shall be identified to the public as charging fares not established by the district.

(6) Fares for vehicular services provided pursuant to this section shall be exempt from sales or use taxes imposed pursuant to article 26 of title 39, C.R.S.  Providers shall not otherwise be exempt from property, sales, income, excise, and other taxes.

(7) The provision of vehicular services in accordance with this section shall not be subject to regulation by the public utilities commission of the state of Colorado;  except that taxi service as defined in the commission's rules shall be subject to regulation by the commission.

(8)(a) For purposes of providing legislative oversight of the operation of this section, the transportation legislation review committee shall review the district's implementation of this section and recommend any necessary changes to the general assembly.

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