Tuesday, October 15, 2013

M1 Rail contract target: Dec. 1

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Detroit's M1 Rail public-private partnership says it expects to award a contract by Dec. 1, 2013 for six streetcars on its initial 3.2-mile route. Bids for the contract are due next Monday, Oct. 21.

M1 is seeking low-floor streetcars with seating for 60 and a capacity of 120 people per car. The streetcars would be owned by a parallel entity, M-2 Rail, reportedly created to satisfy requirements of the federal government's complex New Market Tax Credit formula.

"The vehicle shall be a double articulated, modern urban streetcar with contemporary styling," M1's bid document says.

Earlier this month Detroit awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for design, review, and construction quality assurance services for the project.

The Woodward Avenue Streetcar Project, a private-public partnership (PPP) effort, is being funded by numerous private-sector interests, including the Kresge Foundation, the Penske Corp., and Quicken Loans, among others. Also involved is the Detroit Development Authority, the city of Detroit, Michigan's Department of Transportation, and the Federal Transit Administration, which has advanced a grant of $25 million.