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Rail News: Mechanical

BART recommends Bombardier to build rail 'Fleet of the Future'


Following a 31-month procurement process, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) staff members have recommended Bombardier Transportation to build the agency’s “Fleet of the Future” rail cars. The staff’s recommendation will go before the BART board on Thursday.

Bombardier’s bid “represented the best combination of low price, high technology and proven reliability,” BART officials said in a prepared statement.

Bombardier’s $1.5 billion bid was about 12 percent less than the next bidder, Alstom, which came in at $1.7 billion. Rotem also submitted a bid at $2.8 billion. In its proposal, Bombardier committed to exceed the federal requirement that 60 percent of the rail-car parts be built and cars be assembled in the United States.

“BART understands the importance of the ‘Build in America’ movement and the urgency of putting Americans back to work,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said. “It’s why our board adopted the nation’s first Buy America bid preference policy.”

The procurement process evaluated bidders based on eight criteria, with price receiving the greatest weight. The agency’s Buy America preference policy weighted the bidders’ prices based on the degree to which they exceeded the federal Buy America mandate. Bombardier’s price was about $184 million less than Alstom’s bid, or the equivalent of 104 rail cars, BART officials said.

On Thursday, the board will consider the staff recommendation that Bombardier build the base order of 260 cars as well as an additional 150 cars at an average cost of $2.2 million per car. The board is expected to vote on the contract at its May 10 meeting.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/25/2012