Packard Plant partial demolition begins

Metro Airport shuttle service contract to be rebid

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Regional Transit Authority officials plan to rebid the express airport shuttle service from Detroit and the suburbs to Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Michael Ford, the RTA’s CEO, said the authority has allotted $1.5 million to use for the pilot project that could potentially run from April 2016 to April 2017. No vendors applied, citing lack of funds and data on potential passengers and airport authority rules.

But Ford said that while the new bid proposal will contain the airport’s new intercity bus agreement, he acknowledged there have been vendor concerns with some of the language. One major sticking point is the indemnification of the airport from claims or lawsuits..

“This is a very upbeat discussion, just to hear and have an exchange so that we understand where they are coming from and what the issues are,” Ford said. “We want to make the service work. We’ve been mutually collaborating for a while.”

Ford said he will continue to work with airport officials on finding common ground so there are no hurdles to the service.

RTA officials hope to launch the service between Metro Airport and the city of Detroit first and eventually expand to other cities in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

Chuck Moss, am RTA board member representing Oakland County, said he believes Ford will have a productive conversation with the airport in hopes a compromise can be made.

“If we’re going to work together as a region and they want this service, these protections are going to have to be altered, I think,” Moss said. “What does the airport authority want to accomplish? Do they want to have providers that are reputable and safe? ... I’m sure (airport officials) can be reasonable.”