BART Fleet Of The Future On Fast Track

BART staff recommending contract to Canadian firm for 775 new cars.

By Rebecca Baron
|  Thursday, Apr 26, 2012  |  Updated 7:25 AM PDT
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BART Fleet Of The Future On Fast Track

BART

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The oldest fleet in the nation may soon reach the end of the line.

Today BART staff will recommend that the BART Board of Directors award the contract to replace those 40-year-old rail cars to the Canada rail car company Bombardier.

Bombardier bid the lowest price, at $2.5 billion, and earned the highest technical score in the competition to build BART's new cars.

According to the Mercury News, in choosing Bombardier, the Bay Area is paying $184 million less for cars than we would have from the second-place bidder, the French company Alstom.

The BART board adopted the U.S. public transit industry's first-in-the-nation Buy America bid-preference policy. The policy allows bidders to receive extra points for exceeding the federal minimum of 60 percent American content in new transit vehicles.

Every single one of BART's 775 new cars will be assembled in America by American workers. The vehicles will contain 66 percent American-made parts. Although Alstom promised to use 95 percent American-made parts, its score still kept it in second place. Both Alstom and Bombardier proposed final car assembly in New York state, where both have manufacturing facilities.

State and federal laws and regulations leave the BART board with only two options when its members vote in May: They can award the contract to the highest scoring bidder or vote to start over.

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