Protesters Urge 'BART' to Get on Board

A protest will be held during a BART meeting over its' new fleet of cars

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Christie Smith
    Protesters are looking to get their message across during a BART meeting today.

    Protesters are hoping BART will listen to their calls for a better deal on new train cars.

    The group will hold a rally outside a BART board meeting in Oakland Thursday morning.

    Protesters want the transit agency to find a better deal to overhaul its' aging fleet of cars. 

    BART leaders have tentatively settled on Canadian-based company, Bombardier, to build 775 new rail cars for $1.5 billion, with nearly 2/3 of the parts to be made in the United States. 

     A French company, which was the second lowest bidder at $1.7 billion, promised 95 percent of its parts would be produced in America.

    Worker's unions such as the AFL-CIO have been urging BART to get the best deal to maximize the use of the American workforce.   They are hoping the agency will go back to the table and find another company.    BART has said its selection was based on the lowest bidder.   The agency says the public will save $184-million compared by choosing the Canadian company.

     The agency also says it can't just dump Bombardier for the French company because of federal laws.    If it chose to re-pick a new company, BART would have to re-start a new bidding process which would delay construction of new rail cars by more than one year. 

     The first set of cars are expected to arrive by 2015, with full delivery by 2023.