2009-03-12 / Letters to the Editor

Not getting their money's worth

Very early in the EZPass process, I wrote a letter regarding local pass which I shared with the Jamestown Press and the governor's offi ce. I advocated for a 30- to 50-cent rate for locals. In the letter I explained that the technology was readily available to flag locals and charge another amount which would be proportionate to our local use.

I also challenged why the bridge needed a PR Firm and a consulting firm, Wilbur Smith & Assoc., to provide process oversight and wondered out loud what the people on the $2 million payroll of RITBA were being paid to do?

Wilbur Smith & Assoc. was contracted to provide 1,672 hours of oversight at $137.50 an hour for a total of $229,900.

From my perspective, here is what we paid for. When you go to the RITBA.org site and click on the EZPass banner on the results page, there is no link to check your account. Not too savvy, and anyone who understands web sites knows how ridiculously simple this is to accomplish. As expected, there is no phone number to the EZPass trailer either. When you are finally able to dig out the phone number, there is no voice mail at the number when calling in off hours to ask a question, leave a comment or ask for a return call.

What does "process oversight" mean? Perhaps making it look like the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, integrating the process components into an integrated whole? Coordinating cross content on two sites is not a monumental task.

Here's how I see it. At my 83- cent rate, for what we paid the consultant, I could have crossed the bridge 276,988 times and had 12 cents left over. Richard Spahr Bow Street

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