WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a former Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sent a letter to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board urging them to allow bidders on BART’s multi-billion dollar car contract to submit a revised "Best and Final Offer" (BAFO). Congressman Garamendi believes BART can improve the Buy American content in its rail procurement while preserving the highest quality and lowering the cost of the final successful bid.
Garamendi said, "There is a significant American made content difference in their bids and approximately a 5% price difference. At stake is a $3 billion investment in American jobs and manufacturing capacity. You have an opportunity to instruct them to resubmit their final bids to achieve maximum domestic content and the best price. Tell them to get a sharp pencil and come back in 90 days with their last and best final offer."
At today’s BART Board meeting, where the rail procurement bids were discussed, Garamendi’s letter was read to the Board while surrounded by dozens of local residents who believe the largest transportation agency on the West Coast should create the most American jobs possible in its bidding process. Currently the staff-recommended bid only has 66 percent American content compared to another bid with 95 percent American content. The Congressman believes BART can save money while improving the American content of its final bid.
The complete letter is below.
In the next few days you, the Directors of BART, will have the obligation to make a profoundly important decision that will resonate across America for many years. Before you is the issue of awarding the contract for the new BART trains and the important question: Is America going to rebuild its manufacturing sector? You will make a decision on how to spend approximately $3 billion of tax payer and ridership money. Will you spend that money on American made equipment made by the men and women who live in this country, or continue the destructive practice of shipping our tax dollars off shore along with American jobs? Will you stand up for American jobs and take an important step in rebuilding our manufacturing sector and the American middle class?
America is watching. The American worker is watching. Your ridership is watching. Take this important opportunity to send a loud and clear signal across this state, throughout the nation and around the world that we will “Make It In America” again. You have the critical opportunity to strengthen our domestic manufacturing capacity, grow our supply chains, while building the transportation system necessary for future generations of Bay Area commuters.
The Directors of BART should seek to achieve three fundamental goals: the highest quality, the best price, and the highest domestic content. These goals can be achieved by telling the bidders to go back and resubmit their Best-And-Final-Offers with instruction that you will select the best bid based upon quality, price and American content.
Available public information indicates that Bombardier and Alstom are competent and with strong contract management and accountability they both can produce the train sets on time and with high quality. However; there is a significant American made content difference in their bids and approximately a 5% price difference. At stake is a $3 billion investment in American jobs and manufacturing capacity. You have an opportunity to instruct them to resubmit their final bids to achieve maximum domestic content and the best price. Tell them to get a sharp pencil and come back in 90 days with their last and best final offer.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each of you to help America rebuild its manufacturing sector. Let’s “Make It In America.”
Member of Congress