LANSING, Mich. - Just last week, the labor dispute that forced a work stoppage on area roadways and freeways came to an end.
This morning, a new potential hassle for metro Detroiters emerged: MDOT's courtesy vans have disappeared.
The courtesy vans are considered lifesaving.
If you have ever been stranded on the side of the road, the MDOT courtesy van is a welcome sight.
But as of midnight Monday, those vans will no longer be available due to a contract dispute.
The Detroit company that has been providing the service is called Emergency Road Response.
It had an agreement through September 2019, but earlier this year, the state unilaterally decided to cancel it for convenience and put it out to bid.
Jeff Cranson of MDOT issued the following statement by email:
"Today would have marked the beginning of the third year of a three-year contract for the metro region. The contract for service in Livingston and Washtenaw counties in the university region, expires Jan. 10, 2019. The contracts were put out for bid earlier this year as MDOT saw the opportunity to align the timeline for the contracts."
Cranson sent Local 4 the scores from the bidding process, showing another company IncidentClear LLC, scoring the highest and therefore winning the bid.
Emergency Road Response says the bidding process was tarnished and filed a formal bid protest.
The new company begins service in January. The state said they hoped Emergency Road Response would continue providing service.
A company spokesman said the firm would like to negotiate with the state for the work for these three months, but has not received a response.
Drivers in Metro Detroit will have to do without the courtesy vans for now.
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