If you missed the Tribune's exclusive story today about how the CTA was thatclose to giving a no-bid, $300 million contract to Bombardier to build a rail overhaul facility on the South Side, then you must give it a read.
Yes, that's the same company that is producing 704 new rail cars for the CTA - production that had to be halted until Bombardier fixed problems with the wheel housings on the rail cars. From the Tribune story:
First word of the previously undisclosed discussions with Bombardier comes as Emanuel is asking the City Council to give him broad authority to partner with the private sector to build everything from schools and sewers to ports and railways. The details uncovered by the newspaper highlight both the potential benefits and pitfalls of such public-private partnerships....
Emanuel's press office repeatedly refused to answer questions about what involvement the mayor had in the Bombardier discussions. On Tuesday his top spokeswoman would only acknowledge the mayor was initially attracted to the Bombardier plan because of potential jobs. She said the mayor soured on the idea because of the no-bid aspect, without saying when that happened.
"The mayor doesn't do sole-source deals," said Emanuel communications director Sarah Hamilton. "It was a nonstarter. It was never going to happen."
Nice job on this story by Jon Hilkevitch and David Kidwell. And they give some back story on how the story unfolded here.
Also, in case you missed it today, Jack and Scooter, your two favorite CTA Tattler commenters, discuss the story in this thread.