Friday , March 24 2023

Tow truck companies cry foul over updated requirements by city

Multiple towing companies that have long done business with the City of San Bernardino and received no-bid contracts have filed a letter of grievance with the city because of the updated safety requirements in the new RFP for towing services that is due by March 31st.

In a letter the attorney for the tow companies involved asked that “the RFP process be placed in abeyance so we can have an opportunity to work together to address the true needs of the Police Department and motoring public…”  The letter also stated that the RFP was “fatally flawed.”

The City of San Bernardino settled a lawsuit with Pep’s towing for 1.3 million dollars last year after Pepe’s sued saying that they had been unfairly excluded from city contracts because of political favoritism.  In the lawsuit it was alleged that political contributions to key players on the city council influenced the selection process and excluded Pepe’s Towing.

New requirements include that the tow lots be paved and that the fleets include heavy duty tow vehicles with greater capacity than currently required.  According to sources close to the situation this would leave only one company in the running and that is Pepe’s Towing.

According to a source with a long-history of towing service “The new requirements will eliminate some smaller players right away but the paved lots provide certain benefits such as being a sweep able surface which allows you to get glass, metal shavings and other hazards away from the towed vehicles and properly disposed of and will provide protection from groundwater contamination from oil, gasoline and other leaked or spilled fluids from wrecked or rotting vehicles.”

“It is very rare that RFP requirements result in only one qualified bidder,” Said Dr. Adrianne Moore the Vice-President the Reason Foundation and an expert on government contracting and services.  “If the goal of requiring heavy duty vehicles or paving the lots is to keep vehicles from being damaged than the easiest way to do that is to make the tow companies liable for damage but of course they are often not willing to do that.”

Existing towing contracts will expire on March 31st.

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