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STITA Bidding Process

Josh Platis
02/04/2010

For twenty years STITA taxi drivers have had exclusive access to people needing a ride from Sea–Tac airport. But that may end soon. Last month, they lost a bid with the Port of Seattle. Today a judge will decide if the Port's decision will go forward.

TRANSCRIPT

Yellow Cab beat out six other Seattle area companies to become the exclusive taxi service for the Seattle–Tacoma International airport.

Jesse Buttar is the spokesman for STITA. He says the Port's process was unfair.

Buttar: "We lost because we were nonprofit who did not have lines of credit or similar balances when you compare us to these big–business, for–profit cooperations."

Although STITA scored high in customer service they were out bid by Yellow Cab. Yellow Cab offered the Port $18 million for the exclusive contract. That's $8 million more than STITA offered. Buttar says that STITA's bid was low because they know how much it costs to do business at the airport.

Buttar: "We believe that STITA put a fair proposal in front of the Port, because we have been doing this business for 'X' amount of years, 20 years to be precise, you know we understand the business model, we know what revenue we need to provide and still have living wages for the drivers working within STITA."

Buttar says that if STITA loses this bid they won't be able to compete and will go out of business.

Mark Reis is the managing director of Sea–Tac Airport. He says the bidding process was fair.

Reis: "When we signed the contract with STITA seven years ago, we indicated we would be competing in this business the next time the contract ended. STITA had a long period of time in which it's known that the business would be made available in a competitive fashion for other cab companies."

If STITA loses the injunction the Port will still allow the company to drop people off at Sea–Tac. They just won't be able to pick anyone up.

I'm Josh Platis for KUOW news.

© Copyright 2010, KUOW

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