A Canadian manufacturer has the inside track on a $3.2 billion contract to replace all of BART’s train cars.
The rail operator currently has the oldest fleet of public transit trains in the nation, and replacing them has become a top priority.
On Friday, BART staff alerted its board of directors that Bombardier, a rail and aircraft manufacturer that has built trains for systems across the globe, scored the highest ratings in a series of technical proposals for the replacement project.
Bombardier beat out two other bidders for the project — Alstom, a French company, and Rotem, a South Korean group, according to a BART memo.
A pricing analysis between the three bidders is still being evaluated, and Bombardier must now prove it can meet “Buy America” provisions of the rail replacement contract.
But for now, Bombardier has the upper hand for the coveted bid.
“They’re the apparent top scorer,” BART Director Bob Franklin said.
BART still hasn’t finalized how it will pay for the project. Under a preliminary plan, the agency will contribute $800 million and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the region’s lead transit financing agency, will put up $2.4 billion.
In April, a more detailed financial plan for the rebuild will be released. BART staff is expected to make an official recommendation on the train replacement project April 26, and the board of directors is expected to vote on the contract May 10.