The RFP was scored using a two envelope process. Envelope one was the technical component of the RFP (qualifications and experience, methodology and approach, work plan schedule). Envelope two consists of the lump sum project cost and deliverables for this project (i.e., responds to Transit’s needs, efficient site plan, LEED Silver, etc.). Only those proponents that received 80 points or greater from envelope one had their second envelopes opened and evaluated.I'm not sure what to make of the process; city staffers will no doubt argue they want a qualified and experienced firm to build the project, and cost is a secondary consideration. There's merit in that argument, but it could also lead, potentially, to a rigged process favouring one firm. And no, I have no evidence that's the case, so it's just vague unease on my part.
Regardless, a new garage is required for any further expansion of Metro Transit, and so there is some urgency to get this moving. Metro Transit correctly argues that a second garage on the west side of the harbour will lessen "dead head" times and reduce costly bridge tolls for empty buses.
But while I don't really oppose this project, I would've like to have seen a garage closer to downtown, like, for example, on Port land near the international terminals.
All in all, like for most of HRM's large capital projects, I get that wishy-washy feeling that everything wasn't thought out well, we could probably do better and yet, still, the work has to get done...