bart_generic.jpgBART directors held a three-hour hearing Thursday on a staff proposal to award a $1.5 billion contract to build a fleet of new rail cars to Bombardier, a Canadian rail car manufacturer.

However, the matter was only on the board’s agenda for discussion, and the board won’t vote on it until its next meeting on May 10.

In the latest development in a lengthy process that began back in 2005, BART staff members on Monday recommended Bombardier over three other bidders for building up to 770 rail cars to replace the transit agency’s aging fleet of cars.

Staff members said they chose Bombardier because it had the highest score in a rating system that considered eight factors, including price, experience and past performance and design details.

They said Bombardier is complying with “Buy America” regulations, which require that 60 percent of the components be made domestically and 100 percent of the assembly to take place in the U.S.

Bombardier has promised that its cars will have 66 percent of their components made domestically.

The French firm Alston promised to supply cars that would be 95 percent American. But BART staff members said Alston’s bid was $184 million higher than Bombardier’s.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!