BART push for 'Made in America' transit vehicles could hinge on percentage of American-made content
San Francisco's BART ("Bay Area Rapid Transit") officials are currently contemplating a multi-billion-dollar overhaul of their fleet of subway cars and are trying to decide between bids for 775 new cars from three finalists in the bidding process: Bombardier, Alstom, and Hyundai Rotem. As Andy Thompson has reported in the Hornell Evening Tribune, even though Bombardier is currently the low-bidder, there are a variety of factors that will play into the final selection.
BART is now entering a 15-day review of Bombardier's bid, which came in at 2% less than Alstom's projected costs, and 4% less than Hyundai Rotem.
Although the Bombardier bid came in lower than Alstom, BART’s internal review will also factor in the relative amount of domestic content included by each company. Where Bombardier's USA-made content is 60%, Alstom says their cars are 95% USA-made.
In the Contra Costa Times, reporter Denis Cuff says that BART officials will give American content "extra weight":
BART got a state law passed that allows it to offer extra points to car bidders for exceeding the 60 percent American-content requirement. No other transit agency in the country has gone so far to give weight to "made in America," said Paul Oversier, a BART assistant general manager.
But BART must weigh price, experience, design, approach to work, car delivery time and energy efficiency, Oversier said.
Overall, it's hoped that Alstom's 95% American-made content will add significantly to the company's prospects for winning the bid.
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