Just when you thought it was safe to go about your business, the controversial Silverliner V contract process rears its ugly head. Again...
Today's Inquirer reports that Booz Allen Hamilton, the consultants on the Silverliner V contract, criticized United Transit System's plan to build the rail cars in South Philadelphia and also emphasized the lack of U.S. experience of the lead contractor, Korean-based Rotem. The report didn't sit too well with some UTS officials:
"The critique gives the wrong impression" of the time frame to set up the South Philadelphia plant, said Hats Kageyama, an executive in the United Transit consortium. Workers at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard would install seats, floor covering and other parts on cars largely built in South Korea.
"It's true we have no experience in the U.S.," said Dong-Hyun Choi, another United Transit official, but the firm has wide "experience in the world market," he said. Inquirer
SEPTA, still in defensive mode after the entire affair, didn't comment, though you wouldn't know it from Minister of Mis-Information Richard Maloney's comments:
SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney would not comment on the Booz Allen report and said The Inquirer was "simply asking negative stuff about UTS, and we don't think it's fair." Inquirer
Well, hey, I don't think it's fair that SEPTA posted a detour notice for the 130 on the internet when they couldn't be bothered to do the same for the 92 about 2 years ago, but that's another story. By the way, Richie, it's a reporters job to ask tough questions, though it seems that you'd have a problem answering this very difficult question: "What time is it?"
Maloney said it was now "moot for us to be reviewing or even discussing what we did in the past, because we are beginning with a clean slate." Inquirer
Sure, it's moot, Minister. At least now, the public won't have to hear about all the back-room dealings that went on involving several board members, a few political big-wigs, and UTS.
Eventually, SEPTA will get their new Silverliner V cars. By that time, there'll probably be a new president in office ... after President Bush finishes up his second term (not that I have a problem with that at all).