Chicago Speed Camera Finalists Brought Lobbyist Muscle To Bid Process
Or in Chicago, never bid for a city contract without hiring a high powered lobbyist.
That’s seemingly the lesson the Chicago Tribune is reporting in the battle for Chicago’s speed camera contract.
According to the Tribune investigation, the two vendor finalists, ACS (Xerox) and American Traffic Solutions, both hired big name lobbyists with local political connections to smooth their path to a potential contract. In fact, of the nine initial bidders, the only three companies that hired lobbyists got an invitation to pitch their automated camera enforcement technologies in person–finalists ACS and ATS and Optotraffic.
Coincidentally, none of the vendors without lobbyists made it any further than the original submission of their bid.
American Traffic Solutions has its cameras in the 6500 block of North Western Avenue adjacent to Warren Park, and in the 6300 block of South King Drive near Dulles Elementary School.
While ACS installed test cameras in the 1400 block of west Division Street on the same block as Near North Montessori School and Holy Trinity High School, and in the 2200 block of West Pershing Avenue near McKinley Park.
Drivers needn’t worry about receiving a $35 (for going 6-10 mph over the speed limit) violation notice or $100 (for exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more) violation notice in the mail during the testing period as no tickets will be issued.
Here’s the Tribune’s full story, “Speed camera bidders picked heavyweight help in Chicago.”