Monday, November 12, 2012

AnsaldoBreda finally lands Miami order

Written by  Keith Barrow
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Florida's Miami-Dade County Commission has agreed to award a $313 million contract for 136 transit cars to AnsaldoBreda.

The order comprises six pre-series vehicles and 130 production cars and will be a direct replacement for Miami-Dade Transit's existing train fleet of 136 cars, which dates back to the opening of the network in the early 1980s.

The new trains will be equipped with LED lighting, Wi-Fi, CCTV, and bicycle racks, and will be assembled by AnsaldoBreda at a plant in the Miami area.

A selection committee chose AnsaldoBreda as preferred bidder for the contract last year, but the decision was the subject of a legal challenge in March 2011 by CAF USA, which filed a lawsuit locally claiming the county had breached federal procurement law by favoring AnsaldoBreda because it would assemble the trains locally. The Federal Transit Administration ruled in November 2011 that county officials had violated federal rules in the selection of the company that would supply the cars.

“We are delighted the Board has taken this action towards replacing our aging train fleet. We want to provide the most reliable and comfortable ride for our Metrorail users, and this will go a long way towards improving our service,” said MDT Director Ysela Llort.

The court subsequently ruled against CAF, but its complaint was upheld by the Federal Transit Administration and the tender process was restarted, this time without attributing value to local assembly.

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