July 26, 2013

Editorial: Big score for local industry

Two of the North Country’s bedrock manufacturing companies are Bombardier and Nova Bus, which is owned by Prevost. When they prosper, we all prosper, if not directly then at least indirectly.

They are significant employers and taxpayers that contribute greatly to the turnover of money in and around Clinton County. Their employees are also taxpayers, shoppers and our neighbors, for the most part.

Much of our economy focuses on supplying the Metropolitan Transit Authority and other providers of mass transit in North America.

Bombardier, Nova Bus and Prevost have shown themselves to be skilled in the art of bidding for projects, which is an often overlooked asset for any competitive firm. Any manufacturer in their position has to win bids and secure contracts to keep the business viable.

Companies must be able to bid low enough to earn the favor of the purchasing entity but high enough to remain profitable. Nova Bus and Bombardier have consistently won contracts because they have mastered this prime exercise.

That keeps local people working, because if there are no contracts, there is no work and no need for personnel.

Earlier this week, the MTA announced that conditions have allowed it to schedule improvements in how it serves its customer base in New York City. Those conditions are varied, but they mostly involve a thaw in the economy.

Revenues are up because people are riding the subways and buses more, state aid has increased and responsible budgeting has saved money.

As soon as we heard that, we wondered whether they would be ordering more buses or subway cars. That could signal our local firms to swing into action and prompt optimism for long, lucrative contracts.

The announcement of MTA’s plans made no mention of new equipment. Mainly what was anticipated was more runs for the buses, more stops for the subways and more communication with the public to inform of the enhanced services.

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