Mayor Nutter today announced that the city will not award a contract to the amphibious tour company Ride the Ducks to operate on the Schuylkill River.
“The City has fully reviewed Ride the Ducks proposal for the Schuylkill River and does not feel that it meets the City’s standards for operations,” said Nutter in a press release.
Back in October, the city announced that Ride the Ducks would be moving to the Schuylkill in March. The boats, which previously toured the Delaware River, have not been in operation since a July 7 accident in which two tourists were killed.
Not long after that announcement, the city said it was legally required to permit a competitive bidding process. Ride The Ducks was the only bidder for the contract.
The prospect of moving the boats to the Schuylkill has met with substantial opposition in the surrounding neighborhoods. In today's announcement, Managing Director Rich Negrin said the city was concerned about the impact on traffic and how the tours could operate during special events.
On July 7, a duck boat with 37 people on board was hit by a city-owned sludge barge being pushed by a tugboat operated by a private contractor. The duck boat capsized, and two Hungarian tourists were killed.
For more details, here's the press release from the Mayor's Office:
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA DOES NOT AWARD CONTRACT FOR AMPHIBIOUS TOURS ON THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER
Philadelphia, January 25, 2011 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that the City of Philadelphia will not award a contract in response to its request for proposal (RFP) for an amphibious tour on the Schuylkill River.
“The City has fully reviewed Ride the Ducks proposal for the Schuylkill River and does not feel that it meets the City’s standards for operations,” said Mayor Nutter.
An RFP was issued on November 19, 2010 for Amphibious Tours on the Schuylkill River. The Managing Director’s Office, Parks and Recreation, the Office of Transportation and the Law Department carefully crafted that RFP to capture many community concerns, including noise, traffic, the on Schuylkill Banks and other potential disruptions of recreational uses on the River. Responses were due on December 22, 2010. Ride the Ducks submitted the only response
Managing Director Richard Negrin said, “We appreciate Ride the Ducks efforts to address community concerns, but when all is said and done the proposal’s potential traffic impact, the number of vessels that could be on the river at one time and the inability for the tours to operate during special events were issues with which the City was uncomfortable.”
A technical review committee consisting of representatives of the Managing Director’s Office, Office of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Office of Economic Opportunity, Commerce Department and Planning Commission, with input from Finance, Law and Risk Management, unanimously recommended that the contract not be awarded.