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CTA re-issues RFP for new rail cars

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has rebid its solicitation for a manufacturer to produce its next generation of rail cars, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced yesterday.

The new bid solicitation is the first time in CTA history to include a provision that asks bidders to provide the number and type of new jobs they will create to manufacture the cars, per an agreement reached by the mayor, CTA and the Chicago Federation of Labor in July. The provision also asks bidders to outline their job recruitment and workforce training plans.

"This process will increase competition among bidders and produce a high-quality product that helps us continue to build a world-class transit system," Emanuel said in a press release.

The CTA has issued a new request for proposals for the 7000-series cars. The initial base order will seek 400 cars, with the ability to purchase as many as 846 cars. Earlier this year, the CTA opted to seek new bids in an effort to encourage a wider range of bids from rail-car manufacturers after a 2013 request for proposals generated only two bids.

The new bid solicitation removes a previous requirement that the 7000-series be compatible with current CTA cars. Other changes from the first bid solicitation include:
• adding two exterior cameras on each car and nine interior cameras, including two interior cameras in the operating cab;
• consideration of alternative technologies or configurations for car systems such as doors, brakes and HVAC; and
• increasing the base order to 400 cars, up from 100.

The new 7000-series rail cars will replace CTA's oldest rail cars, which are more than 28 years old. The car replacement program will cost about $2 billion and will be funded through a combination of federal and local dollars.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/17/2014