Miami Beach Bus Shelter Won Design Award, But Can it Be Built?

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Bus Shelter Won Design Award, But Can it Be Built?:

City say no bidders to construct, operate, and maintain

In July, Miami Beach touted a design award for its proposed new bus shelter “featuring state-of-the-art technology and amenities” but it may be too cutting edge. This week, City Manager Jimmy Morales informed Commissioners no bidders had come forward to construct, operate, and maintain them.
 
Designed by Pininfarina, which among other products designs high-end luxury cars and yachts, the shelters won the 2019 Red Dot Award for Design Concept in the Category of Highest Design Quality.
 
“Featuring state-of-the-art technology and amenities that enhance the passenger experience, key design highlights of the City’s iconic bus shelters include a solar panel system with glazed color-patterned glass, electronic bus and trolley arrival signs, passenger security system, and a tempered glass frame with additional awning to protect customers from the elements,” Morales wrote in a Letter to Commission in July announcing the award.
 
“From a resilience perspective, new bus shelters will address tropical weather conditions. Some shelter types will utilize photovoltaic cells for generation of power for the bus shelter lighting. The glazed roof surface of the shelters has a light-colored ceramic frit coating to mitigate heat island effect,” according to Morales’ letter.
 
In August, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued seeking bidders to construct, operate, and maintain the structures which would have provided revenue from advertising. No responses were received by the October 22 due date though “one bidder attempted to deliver a late response which could not be accepted,” Morales noted.
 
The City did receive feedback, however, through “no bid” forms from what Morales called “viable bidders” explaining their decision not to submit bids.
 
“Bidders cited concerns with the cost of the design as the primary reason for not responding, including the inability of the bidder to recover the investment within the contract terms approved by the City Commission, which included up to 20 years,” according to Morales.
 
Next step, looking at opportunities to value engineer the design. “Additionally, staff will conduct industry review meetings to better understand the design-related or other impediments faced by bidders,” Morales wrote.
 
Any design changes or new RFPs would require City Commission approval. 

 
 
 

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