In 2012 BART chose Bombardier Transit Corporation to build BARTís Fleet of the Future. The project is currently in the design and engineering phase. A complex supply chain and assembly process, followed by rigorous testing, will result in the first new train cars going into service in 2017.
The process of designing and manufacturing new BART train cars is long and includes many phases. The current step, occurring in 2013, is to design the new train cars from the ground up. BART is a unique rail system that boasts the lightest train car for its size in the United States. While this makes BART cars the most efficient, it also means that a typical off-the-shelf solution will not meet the needs of the Bay Area.
The next step of the process entails the manufacture and test of the equipment that will be installed inside the new trains. Lab tests will occur on all internal systems including the propulsion systems, brakes, motors, and heating and cooling systems to make sure they are capable of performing to the highest standards when they are built into the new fleet.
In 2015, Bombardier will deliver 10 fully functional pilot cars that will spend 18 months in the Bay Area running on BART test tracks and throughout the BART system outside of normal operating hours. During this thorough qualification and testing phase, BART and Bombardier will verify and validate the train car performance prior to manufacturing.
Upon successful completion of this test phase, manufacturing of the new train cars will begin in 2016.
After a year-long evaluation process in which two separate and independent teams evaluated more than 500 aspects of the three final bids, the independent teams selected Bombardier based on its technical capabilities and low cost. Bombardierís bid came in 12% lower than the next least expensive bid, saving BART $184 million ñ equivalent to the cost of 104 train cars.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires that domestic components account for at least 60% of the total cost of all components used to build new transit vehicles and that final assembly take place in the USA.
In 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown signed a BART-sponsored bill that authorizes California public agencies to establish bid preferences for train car proposals that exceed minimum federal requirements for domestic content. BART is proud to have been the first transit agency in the nation to give ìextra creditî to bids that exceed the federal 60% domestic content requirement. As a result, the new cars will include at least 66% American-manufactured components.
Companies in the United States will be supplying many of the materials and parts used in the train cars, including the propulsion system, the brakes, the raw aluminum used for the body, and much of the electrical wiring.
Final assembly of the new train cars will take place in New York State. Federal contracting provisions prohibit BART from placing any requirements on where in the U.S. assembly takes place or parts are manufactured.
Over the next 10 years hundreds of new American jobs will be created to support the assembly of the new train cars and additional Bay Area jobs will be created in support of the design, commissioning, warranty and other activities associated with the project.
BART's 2009 Request for Proposal was a formal request for qualified companies to submit a comprehensive bid for the new train cars. The RFP provided detailed technical and commercial requirements.
Proposals from competing companies were submitted to BART for review in 2010. Over the course of the year BART undertook an evaluation and clarification process with each of the bidders that culminated in the BART issued Request for Best and Final Offers (BAFO) in 2011.
In early 2012 BART received and evaluated all BAFO proposals. Later that year the BART Board of Directors voted unanimously to choose Bombardier Transit Corporation as the car builder for BART's Fleet of the Future.
After the car builder selection, a detailed design process began, incorporating customer feedback.
In 2013, during the design process, BART brought a full scale, half-car wooden mock-up to the Bay Area for customers to walk through and provide feedback. The feedback is being used to improve the design.
2014 will wrap up the design process with a final half car model consisting of final materials.
The first 10 train cars are scheduled to be delivered in 2015 as pilot cars for comprehensive testing on the BART system.
Before production in 2016, BART and Bombardier will hold a pre-production design review to go over the results of the testing phase and approve production.
The base order of 410 train cars is scheduled to be delivered at the rate of 10 cars per month beginning in 2017.
The second batch of 365 train cars will be delivered by 2023, bringing BARTís new fleet to a total of 775 train cars.
Depending on funding availability, BART goal is to ultimately increase the fleet to approximately 1000 train cars in total to meet growing demand.