Monday, June 11, 2012

MBTA Seeking Bids for Commuter Train Operation

(Via Newswire)

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has sent out a request for bids for companies to operate commuter train service out of Boston. Since 2003, a Boston-based private consortium, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., has run the system. It’s a partnership among French transportation company Veolia, Bombardier, and Boston transportation management company Alternate Concepts. The system carries an average of 144,000 passengers per day on 14 lines, operating out of Boston’s North and South stations.

The agency is considering a longer contract period – up to 15 years – instead of the more standard five to eight years. A longer contract might also allow for private companies to purchase equipment. Currently, all capital purchases are made by the agency while the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad handles operations. An alternative arrangement could reduce state costs.

The bidding process will cost $3 million. A decision on a winning bidder is expected next summer.

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