The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Board of Directors today voted unanimously to award a $3,615,497 sole-source contract to Siemens Industry, Inc. for a retrofit of METRO's S70 light rail vehicles.
The retrofit will allow the existing light rail vehicles to operate on all lines, including the Main Street Red Line, North, Southeast and East End lines. The upgrades will also make the existing light rail cars interoperable with the 19 Siemens Piggyback Light Rail Vehicles the company is ordering.
The estimate is that the retrofit will be approximately 12-14 months for completion.
METRO President and CEO George Greanias discussed the new piggyback trains that METRO has purchased and will be delivered beginning with a car in October.
“The single biggest complaint that we get about the light rail line is that it's too crowded,” Greanias said. “With the arrival of these cars, we'll be able to begin the process of running two-car service at all times on the Main Street Line, and that will allow us to relieve some of that crowding we've seen from a very successful service.” Listen
The board voted 7-0-1, with Christof Spieler abstaining, to approve a $2.1 million contract with Atkins, Inc. for the METRORail Expansion Program Control contract for FY2013.
The contract provides monitoring and evaluation of scheduling, cost control and estimating for the facility provider firms.
The board voted unanimously to award a $47,879,383 contract to NOVA Bus to purchase 70 heavy duty articulated clean diesel buses.
The board deferred action on $2,389,200 in funding with Parsons Transportation Group for the light rail small business program.
The Parsons Transportation Group provides compliance, monitoring, retention services, reporting and workforce training under the program.
The item was deferred until September for board members to further study the item.
The board also deferred action on a $3,308,000 contract with Parsons Transportation Group for the construction mitigation program, and for the option to renew a contract with Community Awareness Services for $327,000.
The items were also deferred until September for further study.
The board voted unanimously to approve a contract modification with First Transit, Inc. to increase the contract by $16.6 million to continue First Transit's operation of METRO's Northwest Bus Operating Facility through January 31.
The contract is due to expire on September 30. The extension would allow the contract to continue through to January or until a service change, whichever occurs first, which will cost $13 milion. The remaining $3.6 million will provide additional funds for contingencies such as incentives, utility adjustments, special event services or additional service hours.
All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Board Member Allen Watson was absent. Agenda
During the meeting, Greanias provided a presentation to the board regarding the FY2013 Budget for METRO. The board will discuss the budget in September. Listen
“I know there's going to be a lot of meat at the board meeting in September, and I know you're doing a lot of work,” Board Chair Gilbert Garcia said following Greanias' presentation.