Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Montreal reopens bidding on Metro cars

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The Quebec government and Societe de Transport de Montreal (Montreal Transit Corp.) have reopened bidding on a major subway car order for the city's rubber-tired Metro system after deciding to double the size of the initial contract.

Montreal's original tender for 340 subway cars, worth an estimated C$1.2 billion (US$1.1 billion), has now more than doubled to 765 cars. Montreal also wants a purchase option on another 288 cars, bringing the total potential order to 1,053 units valued atmore than $C3 billion (US$2.8 billion).

The decision to add more cars was made during exclusive negotiations with Alstom and Bombardier, which had agreed to split the original order. Because it changes the terms of the initial tender, transit and government officials concluded they needed to issue a formal notice of intent calling for new bids to prevent any potential lawsuits and adhere to World Trade Organization rules.

Any competitor believing it can fill the order, which the provincial government specified is for rubber-tired vehicles and not steel-wheel railcars, has 30 days to signal its interest. The bidders, however, have to commit to doing final manufacturing assembly of the cars in Canada.