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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
News Release
Thursday, September 29, 2011

METRO Board Approves Fully Compliant Buy America Proposal
for New Rail Cars from CAF USA

The METRO Board of Directors today gave the green light to purchase 39 light-rail vehicles (LRV’s) from CAF USA (U.S. subsidiary of Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles) for light-rail lines currently under construction in Houston. “The proposal submitted by CAF USA was the best value for the New METRO and it is fully compliant with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Buy America,” said METRO Board Chairman, Gilbert Garcia. “The work generated by this contract will put money in American wallets and that’s good for Houston, and Texas.”

CAF’s $153.1 million proposal was submitted to the Board in accordance with an FTA-approved process that stipulated METRO would:    

  1. Successfully negotiate termination of the former CAF contract
  2. Develop an FTA-approved acquisition plan in full compliance with all FTA requirements including Buy America
  3. Develop an FTA-approved source selection plan disclosing all evaluation factors, their relative importance, and the basis for any award
  4. Prepare an FTA-approved solicitation for the procurement of 39 LRV’s

Last year, the FTA determined the prior METRO administration had not followed appropriate procurement policies in the former CAF contract.

“We are very pleased the FTA has placed its confidence in METRO and our revised procurement procedures. This is a huge undertaking and will benefit those who are producing the cars here in the U.S. as well as the citizens of Houston who will have first-class, state-of- the-art trains,” said George Greanias, METRO’s president & CEO.  

Construction on three new light-rail projects is in full swing and visible along Houston’s East End, North and Southeast lines.  The projects are expected to be completed and ready for passengers in mid-2014.




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