Big Blue Bus officials are urging the City Council to go ahead with a proposed contract with Trapeze Group, a software company whose future business with Santa Monica fell into doubt last month when the City Council voted to boycott Arizona over its controversial new immigration law.

Though the company is headquartered near Toronto, Canada, it operates a facility in the Phoenix area. City Hall records showed the company’s Arizona office did more than $600,000 worth of business with Santa Monica this fiscal year under a contract to provide route scheduling software to the Big Blue Bus.

Now, City Hall staff is recommending the company receive a new $2 million contract for phase two of the project, a plan to install 94 digital, real time information boards at Santa Monica bus stops.

City Hall officials this week said the contract with Trapeze will be handled by the company’s Iowa office, not its Arizona branch.

Councilman Kevin McKeown, a strong supporter of the boycott, said he would vote to approve the arrangement.

“The Arizona sales office of the larger company has lost our account, and we hope they will let their state government know why,” he said. “Santa Monica taxpayers and bus riders get the signs we need to improve service, without losing money on prior proprietary purchases, and without compromising the statement we wanted to make as one of the many entities boycotting Arizona.”

The City Council will vote on the proposed deal June 8.


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