Not Satisfied With New BART Car Contractor

It is anticipated that the BART Board will award the contract to build BART’s $3.4 billion fleet of new train cars to the lowest bidder, Bombardier Transportation, a Canadian company, which priced a single car at $2.95 million, 2% below Alstrom, a French firm, and 4% below Hyundai Roten, a South Korean manufacturer.

Bids were to be scored on several factors, price being the number one factor, experience, design, approach to work, delivery speed and energy efficient the other factors of importance. (Federal law requires transit agencies must buy rail cars from companies that produce 60% of the car’s total value in the United States.)

However, there may be a fly in the ointment – the quality of the product.
Perhaps the cheapest bid isn’t always the best, especially when you consider what happened when the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) chose Bombardier to manufacture 706 new train cars.

The 40 new CTA rail cars which debuted in Chicago in April 2010 were taken out of service shortly thereafter after inspectors found flaws in the wheel components manufactured by one of Bombardier’s Chinese suppliers. Bombardier and CTA immediately began more inspections and found issues with other castings. The plant shut down production and CTA took the trains containing the flawed parts, out of service. Bombardier ultimately agreed to replace parts in all 52 rail cars already delivered to CTA. Molly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for CTA downplayed a Chicago Tribune report regarding possible derailments and Maryanne Roberts, another spokeswoman for bombardier, said BART riders shouldn’t worry about the safety of the company’s rail cars.

Frankly folks, if BART gives the go ahead to Bombardier I think I either drive to wherever I’m going or just wait for the long anticipated Antioch ferry service.

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply