NJT Seeks HBLR O&M ContractorWritten by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
New Jersey Transit (NJT) has initiated a procurement process for an O&M (Operations and Maintenance) contractor for the 20.6-mile, 24-station Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) system, which has operated under the initial DBOM (Design-Build-Operate-Maintain) contract held by 21st Century Rail Corporation since its inception in 2000. “As that contract gets set to expire in the coming years, NJT is evaluating all options on how best to continue delivering high-quality operation and maintenance of the system,” the agency said.
In preparation, NJT is holding a virtual industry forum consisting of one-on-one meetings Jan. 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM EST, the purpose of which is attaining “feedback from industry participants to determine interest of potential partners,” and “inform the scope of the procurement and choice of the delivery model to help shape the upcoming procurement.” The forum “is open to industry professionals at no cost. Firms interested in attending are invited to visit njtransit.com/hblr to register. Upon registration, participants will receive an email describing the project, business opportunities, and information to register. The industry forum does not constitute the start of a formal procurement process, and participation in the industry forum is not a prerequisite to participate in any future procurement. No firm will be advantaged or disadvantaged in subsequent solicitation(s) by either participating or declining to participate.”
“Conceived to help revitalize urban waterfront areas along the Hudson River, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has played a critical role in spurring significant economic growth and development throughout Hudson County since it opened in April 2000,” said NJT President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “As the procurement process for the operations and maintenance of HBLR is set to get under way, it’s critical that we continue to deliver safe and reliable light rail service, while continuing to drive economic development and growth along the line.”
HBLR connects terminals at Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, Hoboken Terminal (NJT’s commuter rail hub that also serves PATH trains), 22nd Street in Bayonne and West Side Avenue in Jersey City. The system was implemented in phases. An initial minimum operable segment (MOS-I) was a $1 billion, 9.5-mile operating segment opened in 2000 with 16 stations, followed by several extensions completed later that year, with the final station opening in 2002. MOS-II was a $1.2 billion, 6-mile, 7-station project that opened in phases from 2002 through 2006. MOS-III was completed at a cost of $100 million in January 2011 with an extension from the former southern terminus at 22nd street one mile to 8th Street in Bayonne. NJT awarded a15-year fixed-price DBOM contract in 1996 to 21st Century Rail Corporation for MOS-I. The contract later renegotiated to include subsequent extensions.
21st Century Rail Corporation consists of AECOM (originally 21st URS Washington Division), 70%; and Itochu Rail Car/Kinkisharyo USA, 30%. Project advisors were WSP USA (originally Parsons Brinckerhoff), Booz Allen Hamilton, and Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott, LLP.
For readers interested in a comprehensive look at HBLR, “Elements of Planning, Engineering and Operating Light Rail with Applications in New Jersey,” by Alfred E. Fazio, is an excellent source.