Other actions taken today by the Metro Board of Directors: contract to buy new buses, TVMs for El Monte Station

Here are a few other items of interest tackled at today’s meeting of the full Metro Board of Directors:

•The Board approved a $302-million contract with New Flyer of America for the purchase of 550 new 40-foot buses powered by compressed natural gas. Staff report (pdf)

•The Board approved a contract modification up to $610,000 with Cubic Transportation Systems for the purchase and installation of four ticket vending machines for the El Monte Transit Center. Staff report (pdf)

•The Board approved a series of contract modifications totaling about $13.5 million with outside firms, including URS Corporation, for continued work on the I-710 South Corridor Project’s environmental studies. Staff report (pdf)

•The Board approved giving Metro the authority to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with three developers seeking to build a mixed-use project that would partially occupy Metro-owned land adjacent to the Red Line’s Vermont/Sunset Station. Staff report (pdf)

550 new buses will be purchased to replace buses scheduled for retirement

Here is the news release:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors approved a budget of $297 million today to purchase 550 new 40-foot transit buses fueledby compressed natural gas (CNG).

In taking the action, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to Metro’s long-term plan to ensure that all facilities and equipment are up-to-date and remain in a state of good repair.

“New buses will provide a safer, cleaner environment,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy.

The new buses will replace buses that are past 12 years of age and 500,000 miles. Those buses will reach their retirement age during fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Some 250 of the buses being replaced are older high-floor buses that are less suitable for ADA accessibility.

The bus procurement is part of Metro’s bus fleet replacement plans for fiscal years 2013-2015. Funding required for the buses is included in Metro’s adopted Long Range Plan and is eligible for bus and rail operation as well as capital expenditures, such as acquisition, labor, contingency and spare parts.

The new buses will be low-floor, CNG-fueled buses with an interior video surveillance system. Improved features called for in the solicitation include technological advancements and longer-life components.

The Board authorized the “best value” approach for the bus procurement in February, which allowed staff to proceed with solicitation of the replacement buses. The procurement contract will be awarded upon Board approval at a subsequent Board meeting later this year.


Metro staff recommends contract for purchase of new light rail cars

As Metro greatly expands its rail network in Los Angeles County in the next few years, the agency has also been working to purchase new rail cars.

After a lengthy proposal process, Metro staff is recommending a $299-million contract with Kinkisharyo International LLC– a firm based in Westwood, Mass. — for the purchase of 78 new light rail vehicles. In addition, the proposed contract includes four options for the purchase of an additional 157 light rail cars for $591 million.

Two other firms proposed on the project. The Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to consider the contract at their Systems Safety and Operations committee meeting on Thursday, March 15 (noon) and at the full Board meeting on Thursday, March 22 (9 a.m.). Both meetings are at Metro headquarters adjacent to Los Angeles Union Station.

The base order and option rail cars are planned for use on the Expo Line, Gold Line Foothill Extension, Crenshaw Line and Blue Line, which has several 69 vehicles due to be retired later in this decade. Although the design of the interiors of the new cars has not been finalized, many of the seats in the new cars will be wider than the new rail cars that debuted on the Gold Line in recent years. There will also be efforts made to maximize extra space for bikes in the rail cars.

One of the criteria looked at by Metro staff was the ability of the contractor to generate jobs in the United States. As part of its proposal, Kinkisharyo committed to creating new U.S. jobs totaling nearly $98 million in wages and benefits — primarily by establishing a new rail car production facility in the U.S.

After the jump are a few more renderings of the light rail vehicles.

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