Rubicon wins collection tech contract in Spokane, Washington

Rubicon announced it has been awarded a new three-year contract to provide fleet management technology for residential and commercial collection vehicles that service an estimated 189,000 locations in Spokane, Washington. Technology will be installed in 100 trucks via tablets and plug-in devices.

The RUBICONSmartCity platform will allow Spokane to track pick-up confirmation, vehicle positioning, diversion rates and vehicle diagnostics, among other metrics. This data will be used to improve routing, customer response times and service offerings.

Rubicon beat out nine other bidders in a competitive process over the summer, with final approval given on Oct. 1. The initial three-year contract is worth an estimated $607,701, with the option of extending up to five years for a total of $923,339. The contract also includes an option to provide telematics to another 1,000 city vehicles at additional cost.

The Spokane deal offers a new level of insight into an area Rubicon often describes as one of three key pillars, but has remained characteristically opaque on when it comes to financial details. Following Rubicon’s recent corporate restructuring, the “smart city” business is still expected to remain a priority and appears to be growing.

Based on contract terms provided to the Spokane City Council, this particular deal is built on a monthly software subscription model that will cost the city $157,819 per year. In addition, Spokane will pay $94,244 in one-time costs to cover equipment, maintenance, training and other services. If the city chooses to install Rubicon’s platform in any other parts of its fleet, the potential costs for the first year — including equipment — range from $890 to $2,390 per vehicle.

While much of Rubicon’s business is still focused on commercial waste, this municipal line has growing potential. Improved routing is seen as a priority for both public and private segments of the industry, making a service that can also provide a host of other data points appealing to some municipalities. Given that Rubicon may also have ambitions to eventually enter the residential collection business in some form — and is also eligible to bid on potential franchise contracts in New York that will require routing software in all trucks — this type of adaptive technology could be even more useful in the future.

The RUBICONSmartCity technology is now running in more than 25 cities, with Spokane listed as the first Western municipality to date. Other cities that have been publicized include Atlanta; Philadelphia; Montgomery, Alabama; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Columbus, Georgia; Tyler, Texas and West Memphis, Arkansas.

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