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MTA purchases 300 Bombardier cars, employs new procurement process


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will purchase 300 new rail cars to be built by Bombardier Transportation at its Plattsburgh, N.Y., plant, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced yesterday.

The $600 million order for R-179 cars will be financed by $306 million in federal funds already in place in the MTA’s recently completed capital plan, and other pending and future federal grants, state and MTA officials said in a prepared statement.  The cars, which are slated for testing in late 2014 and delivery in 2016, will replace MTA’s oldest subway cars that first entered service in 1964.

“With this order, we are benefiting New York City Transit subway customers with an infusion of new equipment for the fleet, as well as fueling economic growth in New York state,” said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Lhota.

The contract will enable Bombardier to retain 300 jobs and preserve additional jobs for area suppliers, state officials said.

Maintenance costs for the new cars are expected to drop 40 percent compared with the cost to maintain the older cars, they said.

Meanwhile, MTA officials also announced the agency recently saved $8 million on three contracts by making purchases through a new form of real-time online reverse auctions. Contracts for desktop computers and custodial and security services came in at 51 percent and 8 percent below estimates, respectively, they said.

Under the new procurement method, known as e-procurement, companies seeking to do business with the MTA log onto a website that allows them to place bids in real time and simultaneously track whether they are currently the low bidder, or have been underbid.

“The savings we've been able to achieve through our first uses of e-procurement have been well beyond our most hopeful expectations,” Lhota said. “We are looking to expand our use of e-procurement as quickly as we can. We expect to switch to it for all of the purchases where it makes sense.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/29/2012