Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions Inc. was selected as the preferred bidder for an automated camera system to tag speeders near public schools and parks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration said today.
City procurement officials notified ATS in a letter today and will now enter negotiations on a contract, but have set no timeline for its completion.
ATS and the other finalist, Maryland-based Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., were chosen last year from a field of nine original bidders in Chicago. The two companies participated in a month-long test of their equipment in Chicago during which no tickets were issued. City officials have declined to discuss the evaluation process.
“ATS is excited to have an opportunity to partner with the city of Chicago on this important public safety initiative,” James Tuton, the president and CEO of ATS, said in a statement. The company is based in Tempe, Ariz.
A spokesman for Xerox declined to comment.Both ATS and Xerox have run into problems with their camera programs in other states. Xerox has been embroiled in a controversy in Baltimore over reports that its cameras issued thousands of erroneous tickets.
ATS recently agreed to pay up to $4.2 million in partial refunds on a half-million New Jersey tickets that might have been issued in violation of state law.
While not admitting fault, the company said it wanted to support its client cities in an effort to cut short a series of class-action lawsuits alleging its red-light camera systems weren't properly inspected nor certified by 11 municipalities before citations began hitting mailboxes throughout the state in 2009.
The Emanuel administration has declined to say when it hopes to sign the contract, but the mayor included $30 million in ticket revenue in this year's budget.
Emanuel's program, which he has pitched as a safety initiative, was slowed down by a scandal over the city's red-light camera contract.
The red-light vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., is under investigation by the city inspector general's office after Tribune reports about its close relationship to the former city official who oversaw the contract.
Emanuel's office rejected Redflex's pitch for the speed camera contract after reports that Redflex gave a lucrative contract to a friend of the city official, who also received company-paid vacations.
The city recently announced it will find a new vendor to replace Redflex when the red-light contract expires this summer.