Florida Transit Officials Seek Ways to Cut Costs of Rental-Car Hub

Both bids to build Miami International Airport's car-rental hub have been officially rejected, but Florida Department of Transportation officials are talking with officials of the low bidder, Turner Construction Co., about ways to lower expected costs, Miami Today reports.

Under the plan, the contractor would assume a certain amount of risk that would be built into the contract price, and the state is looking at charging car-rental companies additional rent to help cover the cost of the project, a project spokesman said.

An existing fee for every transaction would be raised once the new facility is in operation, and funds will go towards construction and maintenance so the facility will be self-sustaining, officials say.

The facility was discussed at a Miami-Dade County Commission regional transportation committee workshop last week. Miami-Dade County aviation officials said the terminal would cost $1 billion more than expected due in part to increases in raw materials and labor costs.

The state opened bids in September for the car-rental hub, which had been budgeted at $217.6 million. Turner Construction Co. bid $399.9 million and Odebrecht Construction $470.1 million, according to Miami Today.

It was announced in January that the facility, two years behind schedule at the time, was to be downsized to 6,800 spaces from 9,500 because the post-9/11 decline in airline passenger traffic caused a drop in the number of car-rental companies interested in the hub. Originally, 22 companies were interested in the facility. The number had declined to 16.

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