August 26, 2008

Toronto Transit Commission staff, tomorrow, will seek approval from Commissioners to enter into a multi-phase bid process with three known and proven manufactures of low-floor light rail vehicles: Alstom Transportation Inc., Bombardier Transportation Canada Inc., and Siemens Canada Limited. The technical requirements remain unchanged.

On July 17 the TTC announced that it had cancelled the Request for Proposal process to purchase 204 new low-floor streetcars. The two bids it received at the June 30 deadline were deemed non-compliant. The TTC said it would review its options to ensure the current streetcar fleet is replaced starting in 2012 with new, accessible vehicles. The recommendation from staff is that the TTC begin discussions with all three manufactures with respect to technical and commercial requirements. A formal competitive pricing phase, including a plan for 25% Canadian content, will be the last phase of the process before a contract award is recommended to the Commission.

Prior to the close of the original RFP, the TTC retained a Fairness Monitor, Hon. Coulter Osborne, to ensure the process was followed as set out in the RFP. He concurred with staff’s decision that both bids received by the TTC were evaluated fairly and in a manner consistent with the RFP.

Under its procurement rules, the TTC may contact any vendor, including those who responded to a Request for Expressions of Interest, a process undertaken before the original RFP was issued. The TTC met recently with representatives from Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens. Each indicated they could build a streetcar that meets the technical requirements established in the original RFP.

If the recommendation is adopted, TTC staff will report regularly to the Commission on the status of discussions. The TTC believes the multi-phase bid process is the best option to ensure it obtains new streetcars that will meet the city’s needs. It also allows for questions or concerns to be discussed without the rigors of a formal RFP process.

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