Muni Board OKs $3.7M Nextbus Contract, Supervisors To Make Final Call

Muni Board OKs $3.7M Nextbus Contract, Supervisors To Make Final Call
Photo: Rick/Flickr
By Shane Downing - Published on May 08, 2017.

Last week, Muni’s board of directors voted to approve a $3,780,474 contract extension with Nextbus, Inc., bringing the contract total to $12.9 million. The matter will now head to the Board of Supervisors.

As we previously reported, NextBus’ service—which predicts when the next scheduled transport is expected to arrive—had a meltdown in January, eliciting criticism from riders and city leaders.

But because SFMTA’s original contract with Nextbus is set to expire in July, the agency’s board voted to extend its deal so it will have more time to vet other potential providers for a new Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS) contract.

That process should be completed early next year and will allow Muni to transition from a cellular network to a radio-based system for providing predictive bus-tracking services sometime before July 2019.

Because the Nextbus contract extension requires final approval from the Board of Supervisors, the matter will be introduced to the Board today and could be heard by the Budget and Finance Committee as soon as July 6th, SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose told Hoodline.

If supervisors vote against the extension, there will be no vehicle location technology for riders or for transit staff beginning this July.

“Customers would not have access to transit information through third-party apps, the internet, shelters and stations,” wrote Rose in an email. “The vehicle-location technology software and some associated equipment are proprietary to Nextbus, and the SFMTA is therefore unable itself to maintain the services.”