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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking vendors to operate and maintain new trains, stations and facilities along the planned Silver Line extension.The RFP includes the maintenance of rail cars assigned to the Silver Line, track and infrastructure, the Dulles Rail Yard and administrative functions needed to support operations.WMATA is using competitive contracting as a way to "control operating and maintenance costs," agency officials said in a press release.The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is building the Silver Line extension, which could open in 2020. The $2.7 billion extension would run 11.7 miles from Reston, Virginia, to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, Virginia.The base contract for the operation will be for five years, with additional options available."We are leaving no stone unturned as we look for opportunities to maintain transit service for the region and protect jobs, all while living within our means in light of what our funding jurisdictions can afford," said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld. "Competitive contracting is one tool to hold down pension cost growth, while providing quality service for customers."