Item Coversheet
City of Independence
BILL NO. 17-0071st R.

Agenda Title:

17-007 - 1R. An ordinance authorizing a contract with First Transit, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $1,358,543.03 for the operation and management of the intra-city bus service known as Indebus within the City of Independence, July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Based on the thorough review of the proposal in accordance with the established evaluation criteria and the assistance from Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) staff, the Committee recommends First Transit for award of the IndeBus transit services based on the following findings: 


  1. First Transit has operated IndeBus for 4+ years within the guidelines of the City, KCATA and RideKC. 


     2. First Transit meets all of the criteria outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP).


   3. First Transit has a proven capability in providing highly efficient and effective transit service; a proven track record on compliance with all pertinent Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and requirements


   4. First Transit has experience in performing transit service of similar scope and complexity; specifically it partners with Johnson County Transit to operate The JO fixed route and paratransit services.

Executive Summary:

This ordinance would award a contract to First Transit to continue operations of the local fixed route IndeBus system.  First Transit was selected after a thorough review by staff.  


The City currently contracts with First Transit for transit operations and management of the fixed route transit system called IndeBus.  IndeBus consists of six routes providing service six days each week from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Two routes provide service every 120 minutes and four routes provide service every 60 minutes.  IndeBus currently provides approximately 16,650 hours of service per year. The current service contract with First Transit expires on June 30, 2017. 



Beginning in June 2016, City staff and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) staff collaborated in developing the transit operations and management RFP for IndeBus.  The RFP was reviewed by staff from both KCATA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  On October 31, 2016, the Purchasing Division advertised a RFP for transit operations and management of the fixed route transit system on the City’s website as well as   The RFP closed on November 23, 2016.  Through the Public Purchase website, a total of 19 firms viewed the RFP with ten (10) of those firms downloading documents from the website.  The firms who accessed the RFP included transit-related vendors and transit operators.  One (1) proposal was received – First Transit.


The City issued the RFP to continue providing local IndeBus transit service for a period of five (5) years on the six (6) routes operated in the City.  There were no changes to the routes or hours of operations or to the duties and responsibilities of the contractor.  The RFP specified brand new 24-passenger vehicles (including 2 wheel chair positions) with an Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) system, Bus Stop Annunciation System, Automated Passenger Counters Vehicle camera system, bike rack, wheel chair lift or ramp, and 3 exterior cameras.  In addition, the RFP outlined coordination with other transit operators through the Ride KC brand to provide a more seamless, regional transit experience for the riders, integrated route planning, communications and customer services that meet the needs of current and future riders.


The proposal was evaluated based on the following criteria established in the RFP:


  • Understanding of requirements of the fixed route transit service;
  • Concise descriptions throughout the proposal;
  • Knowledge of transit operations, safety, customer service (drivers, response to issues, complaint management), fleet maintenance, servicing/cleaning, ticket/cash handling, records management, personnel and staff training, service level changes, marketing, automated vehicle locator systems, National Transit Database (NTD) sampling procedures, GFI Odyssey electronic fareboxes;
  • Proven capability in providing highly efficient and effective transit services with an excellent record of customer service;
  • Proven track record on compliance with all pertinent Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations and requirements, to include extensive experience with completing all required NTD reports and drug and alcohol testing reports and requirements.
  • Quality of the technical recommendations;
  • Quality of the staffing recommendations;
  • Ability and commitment to meeting vehicle purchase/lease requirements and other critical implementation activities in preparation for beginning contracted services effective July 1, 2017;
  • Provision of value added services beyond the minimums outlined in the RFP;
  • Experience in performing transit service of similar scope and complexity;
  • Qualifications and experience of proposed General Manager and other key staff with experience in operating a transit service of similar size, scope and complexity;
  • Financial stability based on financial statement submitted;
  • References.


KCATA assisted the City in evaluating the RFP.  It was determined the First Transit proposal was responsive (i.e., complies with the mandatory requirements of the RFP documents) and contains the necessary relevant facts (i.e., cost and pricing data, experience and reliability, expertise, performance methodology, and reference contact and experience verification).  


On December 22, 2016, the City Council Transportation Policy Committee met and recommended to award a contract to First Transit, Inc. for the management and operation of the fixed-route system know as IndeBus.

Fiscal Impact:

Below is the proposed 5 year cost outlined by First Transit.



First Year

ending 6-30-18

Second Year

ending 6-30-19

Third Year

ending 6-30-20

Fourth Year

ending 6-30-21

Fifth Year

ending 6-30-22

Hourly Rate






Annual Hours






Total Variable












Marketing Fee






Management Fee






Total Fixed












Total Cost







The first year cost (i.e., $1,358,543) is approximately a 6.5% increase over the FY 2016-17 anticipated cost for IndeBus.  This cost increase is in line with staff’s anticipated increase given the upgrades requested in the RFP (i.e., larger buses and increased technology).  Additionally, the year over year cost increases (i.e., first year to second year, second year to third year, etc.) range from 2.3% to 5.3%; these increases are less than the year over year increases experienced in our current contract, which ranged from 4.8% to 11.6%.


Revenues to pay for the service will include General Fund revenues from the Community Development budget, the Centerpoint TIF Special Allocation Fund, transit passenger fares, State of Missouri transit operations assistance funds, and FTA Federal Formula funds.  

Department:          Community DevelopmentContact Person:          Tom Scannell

Community Development DepartmentApproved
Finance DepartmentApproved
Finance DepartmentApproved
Law DepartmentApproved
City Managers OfficeApproved
City Clerk DepartmentApproved

Council Action:          Council Action:          Accepted

First Transit Contract OrdinanceOrdinance
First Transit Cost ProposalBackup Material
First Transit Executive SummaryBackup Material
Contract DraftContract
Management Analyst Review First Transit ContractBackup Material