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BART Adopts "Buy America" – First in U.S., Agency Says

BART has adopted a "Buy America" policy, saying it is the first transit agency in the nation to do so. BART will soon accept bids for a $3-billion replacement of its old fleet of cars.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit district has become the nation's first transit agency to approve a "Buy America" policy, BART said.

The new Buy America Bid Preference policy, adopted unanimously by the BART board Thursday, "gives preferences to rail car manufacturers who create jobs in the U.S.A.," according to a BART news release Friday.

BART is preparing to award $3 billion in contracts for its new fleet of train cars, which the agency calls the "Fleet of the Future."

“The Buy America policy mirrors the economic goals of federal lawmakers,” BART Board President Bob Franklin said in a statement. “Adopting this policy on a regional level demonstrates BART’s leadership in the rail industry. It will also transfer rail car technology to the U.S.”

The new policy, which takes effect Jan. 1, "scores bids for federally funded procurements by using a formula that considers the domestic content level of a product," BART said.

Mary Roderick November 21, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Way to go BART! This is exactly what we need to get the country moving again.
Tom Abate (Editor) November 21, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Perhaps they learned from CalTrans which shipped the Bay Bridge work to China. I'm not sure how the buy program is structured but I would expect and hope that it allows qualified foreign makers to open up shop in the U.S., employ Americans, and qualify that way.
Tom Abate (Editor) November 21, 2011 at 09:50 PM
I asked BART board president Bob Franklin for additional details and he sent the following: "There are 2 Buy America provisions in contracting for agencies that receive Federal funding: construction contracts, where steel and iron products must be 100% American, and rolling stock, with requires a 60% requirement of American-made components (motor, brake, door, seats, windows,...) and requires the final assembly in the U.S. In the construction provision, contracts can be awarded outside of the U.S. if a product is not available in the U.S., or if the price differential is more than 25% greater than a U.S. product (the latter being the case with the Bay Bridge for China.) Concerning the 60% rolling stock contract, BART will be giving formula-based additional credit for American content beyond the 60%. So if a bidder offers 100% American-made components, then that bidder would get an adjustment credit to their price proposal, which is one of seven elements in the selection criteria."
Mel Switzer November 22, 2011 at 07:55 AM
The leaders in the Federal government cry "jobs, jobs, jobs". Both parties claim to have "solutions" to the problem. But not one of these leaders in Washington EVER says anything about buying domestic or persuading any US company to come home. So many companies, both large and small, that was once produced products in this country have fled our borders for greater profits overseas. I get sick when I go to almost any store and read "Made in China" on almost everything that is for sale. Twenty years ago, this was not a big problem. Now it is the norm. We need to wake up. Buying anything from a Toyota to a children's toy made overseas puts people to work in other countries, whereas we used to make these products not that long ago. We need businesses to come home and employee people. Then the tax monies will flow back into the system, people can get off of welfare/ unemployment and maybe we can get the deficits down. We need more people to think "Buy American", all the way from toys to autos. We cannot keep sending our jobs overseas and continue borrowing money from China. If we do, we are doomed as a nation. Mel Switzer - San Leandro Resident

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