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Transit partnership moves on $17 million contract for consultant

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 by Seth Smalley

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors met Monday to discuss several important updates to the Austin Transit Partnership (whose board convened last Wednesday), including a multimillion-dollar service contract with the consultancy Ernst and Young.

Board Member Eric Stratton delivered administrative and technical program updates to the board, including information on ongoing hiring processes. (ATP is still in the process of hiring an internal auditor.) Stratton also covered a $17 million contract with Ernst and Young infrastructure advisers for “commercial risk and project delivery services.”

“This is important because we have all been talking about programming project risks. The risks associated with the various projects that are components (of Project Connect) as we move along down the line trying to implement Project Connect,” Stratton told the board.

Ernst and Young was hired to determine the best ways to build various sections of Project Connect while minimizing the potential risks involved.

Some of the next ATP meetings will be spent designating specific roles for each of the partners in the transit partnership, as they relate to the contract.

“The other, perhaps largest, thing that came out of the meeting was a very robust conversation …. This is where the board of directors really got into looking at some big-ticket items with Executive Director (Randy) Clarke,” Stratton told the Capital Metro board.

Additionally, ATP is making moves to increase community access by giving the public an agenda of what to expect at meetings months ahead of time.

“In terms of community engagement, we’re now doing a three-month-out window so that the public and stakeholders have a better idea of what’s coming over the course of the next three months,” Stratton told the board. This is a noted difference from the current system, which provides only a monthly update.

“Lots of great feedback, lots of great continued community involvement about different things that are happening,” Stratton said.

The Austin Transit Partnership is also taking measures to reach out to the community. The board adopted the bylaws of the community advisory committee as well as the technical advisory committee’s charter amendments, as directed by the joint powers agreement.

This story has been changed since publication to correct a typo.

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