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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

2/14/2002



Rail News: Passenger Rail

L.A. MTA solicits light-rail vehicle bids


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Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans Feb. 19 to hold a pre-bid conference at Union Station Conference Room as part of a bid process for 50 light-rail vehicles (LRVs), plus options.



Of the base order, some cars would be used on Metro’s Green Line, freeing up Green Line LRVs for use on the Metro Gold Line to Pasadena, which is a 13.7-mile extension slated to open in June 2003. The rest of the first 50 LRVs would go to the East Side extension of the Gold Line to East Los Angeles.



The bid includes an option for eight vehicles for a proposed minimum operating segment on the Exposition Light-Rail Line. The Exposition Line would originate in downtown Los Angeles and share track with the Blue Line to Grand Avenue Station, then proceed west three miles to Exposition Boulevard and Vermont. MTA also still is considering whether to build the line in phases or complete a 9.6-mile extension.



Another option would provide 25 vehicles for the second phase of the Gold Line, which would proceed east six miles from the Los Angeles County line to Claremont in San Bernardino County. MTA’s board plans Feb. 28 to review the project’s final environmental impact report, then submit it to Federal Transit Administration for final approval. If all proceeds as planned, MTA would begin construction in mid-2003, and open the line in 2008.



The vehicle specifications call for standard, high-floor LRVs, seating about 76 passengers, and accommodating about 233 seated and standing passengers, similar to those operating on MTA’s Blue Line.



However, the Gold Line cars wouldn’t include automatic train control as do the Green Line’s current cars manufactured by Siemens Transportation Systems. Originally, MTA planned to operate the Green Line without drivers.



"We just wanted a simpler car," says Bruce Feerer, MTA deputy executive officer for procurement, adding that the simpler cars would be easier and less costly to maintain.



And, because the cars are more standard than MTA’s last procurement, the authority is using a two-step bid process, unlike its former negotiated-bid procedure.



The first step would require bidders to show technical compliance with the performance specifications. Suppliers meeting the requirements would be asked to submit bids; the final procurement would be decided strictly on a low-bid basis, with a final contract award expected in September.



First-step bids are due April 16 at 4 p.m. Officials anticipate the winning contractor might work within a 24-month lead time, then deliver the cars at a rate of two to four per month.



For bid details, send a fax to Contract Administrator Ed Velazquez at 213-922-7315.



Kathi Kube


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