Bus company blames Keller for ART deal going sour | KOB 4

Bus company blames Keller for ART deal going sour

Megan Abundis
November 21, 2018 06:06 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Last week Mayor Tim Keller said the ART buses weren’t safe and that the city will be shipping them back to the Chinese manufacturer, BYD.


Mayor Keller told KOB this week that the city’s relationship with the bus company is over, especially after BYD’s vice president said that Keller made false accusations regarding the safety of the buses.

The city of Indianapolis recently bought more than a dozen BYD buses but is rethinking that move after Keller pulled the plug in Albuquerque.

Indianapolis officials tested the buses on Monday. They got an in-person visit from Micheal Austin, Vice President of BYD, to ensure buses’ safety and reliability and, to explain Albuquerque’s contract termination.

Austin blamed Keller for the deal going sour.

“When Albuquerque's new elected mayor came into office he immediately asked to terminate the contract before any issues were found. Now he's figuring out a way,” Austin said. “He's come up with some claims that we believe are false."

Keller responded saying he tried to reconcile the deal.

“Well that's not actually true, we never tried to terminate the contract. In fact, it was the opposite. We reached out and said can you help us get this done in a way that the busses will actually work," Keller said.

The mayor said that promises about battery life and the number of busses the city would get were not upheld.

“We've really tried hard we've given deadline after deadline. Deadlines haven't been met," Keller said.

Independent testing showed problems with the bus doors and brakes which Austin attributed to‘driver error.’

“The buses were inspected three times before they ever left our factory, they passed all brake testing, and they still pass, so they were looking for a way out of the contract from the beginning, it's just a philosophy difference," Austin said.

Keller said the company’s remarks are disingenuous and unprofessional.

“We want to do business with companies that just keep their words, are professional and deliver on their contractual obligations,” Keller said. “I think there is a clear history of challenges, for us we need to move forward in a better way."


Megan Abundis

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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