USA: At its meeting on April 26, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District board is due to consider a recommendation to select Bombardier Transportation as the preferred bidder to supply its new fleet of metro cars. Because the Bombardier bid represents such ‘good value’, according to BART, the board will be asked to approve a base order for 260 cars plus an option for 150 at an average cost of $2·2m per car.

Alstom, Bombardier and Hyundai Rotem had been shortlisted for the contract to supply up to 775 cars, with bids also received from CAF and CSR. Assessment of the best and final offers from the shortlisted bidders gave Bombardier a combined score of 79·7, based on a price score of 33 for its offer of $1·54bn and a technical score of 46·7. Alstom achieved a combined score of 73·22 based on its price of $1·73bn (scoring 31·83) and a technical score of 41·39, while Hyundai Rotem came third with 48·47 based on a technical score of 30·05 and a price score of 18·42 for its offer of $2·79bn.

Bombardier has committed to 66% domestic content in its best and final offer. This compares to 95% from Alstom and 70% for Hyundai Rotem. BART General Manager Grace Crunican said that Bombardier had taken the transit agency’s ‘Buy America’ policy to heart, ‘while never losing sight of the importance of price, quality and reliability’.

The BART board is due to vote on the contract recommendation at its meeting on May 10. Contract award is scheduled for June 4, which would see the first production train enter revenue service in January 2017 and the last of the 410 cars delivered in April 2020. Board members will be informed that the low price offered by Bombardier ‘dramatically increases’ the probability that BART will be able to fully fund complete renewal of its rolling stock fleet at a total project cost of $2·56bn for 775 cars.