Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the MBTA will present to the MassDOT Board of Directors the recommended company to manufacture and deliver 284 new subway cars for the Red and Orange Lines, replacing decades-old vehicles. Joined by MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, as well as state and local officials, Governor Patrick announced that the recommended company, CNR MA, will build a 150,000 square foot facility in Springfield to assemble the vehicles, creating over 250 new manufacturing and construction jobs in the region. The contract is pending approval by the MassDOT Board, which is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to vote on the recommendation.
The contract with CNR MA will include the purchase of 152 new Orange Line Vehicles and 132 new Red Line vehicles to replace the 44-year old Red Line cars and 32-year old Orange Line cars. The contract also includes the option to purchase an additional 58 Red Line cars. The new cars will provide improved reliability, accessibility and energy efficiency. New car features include increased capacity and additional seating, wider and electrically operated doors, four accessible areas per car, LED lighting, modern HVAC systems and advanced passenger information and announcement systems.
“This is a critical investment in the future of public transportation in Greater Boston and in the economic wellbeing of Western Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “It will open up opportunities for the residents of the Pioneer Valley by creating quality construction and manufacturing jobs that will propel growth in the region for years to come.”
The design process will take approximately three years for the Orange Line cars and an additional 15 months for the Red Line cars. Pilot cars for the Orange Line are to be delivered in early 2018 and the Red Line pilot cars will be delivered about a year later. Delivery of production cars will occur at a rate of approximately four cars per month between winter 2018 and winter 2021 for the Orange Line and between fall 2019 and spring 2021 for the Red Line.
CNR MA intends to build a new manufacturing facility for final assembly of the Red and Orange Line Vehicles at 655 Page Boulevard in Springfield. This facility will serve as CNR MA’s US Headquarters. CNR MA plans to build a facility that includes a dynamic test track, which will enable testing prior to shipment of the vehicles to the MBTA. CNR MA plans to invest $60 million of its own resources into the facility. CNR MA estimates the new facility will create more than 150 new manufacturing jobs and 100 new construction jobs. Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.
“The awarding of this contract is the culmination of years of work and development by teams at MassDOT and the MBTA,” said Secretary Davey. “By making this important investment, and ensuring that it provide for new jobs and increase economic opportunity in Massachusetts, we are making a commitment to the future of sustainable, accessible public transit that is more reliable, more frequent and better serves the needs of our Commonwealth.”
The new Orange Line cars will replace the entire current fleet that has an average of 1.5 million miles on them. On a typical weekday, the Orange Line fleet carries over 200,000 people. The order will also increase the fleet size, allowing for increased passenger capacity and decreased passenger wait times by reducing headways from six minutes to four during rush hour.
The Red Line order will replace the current fleet of “No. 1” cars and the additional contract option would allow for replacement of the 27-year old “No. 2” cars. The “No. 1” cars have an average of 2.3 million miles and the “No. 2” cars an average of 1.4 million miles; these cars currently run on the Red Line which serves an average of 272,000 customers on a typical weekday.
“Today marks an important step in improving the daily commutes of hundreds of thousands of our MBTA customers,” said GM Scott. “By replacing the aging fleets of Red and Orange Line cars, we will be able to reduce travel and wait times, increase capacity and improve accessibility, security and the overall experience for our customers.”
Both the new Red and Orange Line cars will allow for an average of 15 additional passengers per car; and accessibility upgrades such as wider doors will allow for ADA access even when one door is non-functioning. Other upgrades include bridge plates and advanced customer information systems such as automatic station announcements on state-of-the-art public address systems and LED information signs.
The total project budget is approximately $1.3 billion, and includes the funds necessary to expand and improve the MBTA’s rail car maintenance and storage facilities in Medford and Boston. Made possible by the passage of the Transportation Finance Law last year, the Orange and Red Line car procurement project is funded entirely by State Transportation Bond Funds.
The Request for Proposals was released a year ago, and six companies submitted proposals. Of the six proposals, four of them met the minimum requirements and were rated on criteria ranging from technical and manufacturing experience, past performance, quality assurance, and price. CNR MA submitted the lowest bid at $556.6 million.
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