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BART delays vote on escalator replacement and repair

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One of the escalators at Civic Center Bart Station is broken on Thursday, February 11, 2016. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/ S.F. Examiner)

BART has pulled a vote from its agenda Thursday on repairing and replacing escalators across the agency’s system after a bid for the project skyrocketed past projections, and contained at least one “error.”

“There is a problem with the contract,” BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told the San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday.

The bidder had an “error” in their documents, Trost said, “so we will ask the board to reject [the agenda item] and rebid” the contract.

“It was a math error in their document that if we did award the contract it would cost us even more money,” Trost said.

SEE RELATED: BART board to vote on renovating 23 escalators, shielding some with canopies

Besides the error on the part of bidder Schindler Elevator Corporation, Trost said, the sole bid was “much higher than engineer estimates,” prompting a rebid.

As the Examiner previously reported, BART had one bid to renovate or replace eight escalators, and 15 “optional escalators,” which was initially set for a vote on Thursday.

Schindler Elevator Corporation, of San Leandro, bid the contract at $27 million, with an option to $67.9 million, which is $16 million over BART engineers’ estimates of the contract cost.

When BART polled contractors it found that “given the current business activity in the Bay Area resulting in a shortage of certified conveyance mechanics, the limited number of escalator manufacturers, and the risk to the manufacturer of replacing an unseen escalator, staff has determined that the bid is fair and reasonable,” according to a BART staff report.

BART has $43.7 million available for the contract currently, according to the staff report.

As of Monday afternoon, 11 escalators were out of service across BART, according to BART’s escalator status website, eight of which are in San Francisco, including at Powell and Civic Center stations.

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