- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - The losing firm in the battle for a $2.68 billion state contract to operate the Massachusetts commuter rail system said it plans to appeal the decision.

Executives from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. told The Boston Globe (https://b.globe.com/1f0UX6U ) they will argue that the winning bidder, Keolis Commuter Services, failed to provide crucial and required information to the state during the selection process.

“Our team took the procurement process and the rules governing it very seriously,” MBCR spokesman Scott Farmelant said in a statement. “Unfortunately, after careful review of the documents provided by the MBTA, it has become clear that the bidding process did not comply with basic procurement standards.”

If the appeal is rejected by the state, MBCR would seek a restraining order to block Keolis from taking over as scheduled on July 1, a company official said.

The board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Jan. 8 awarded the largest operating contract in state history to Keolis, a French transportation firm. The system, part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, carries about 70,000 roundtrip passengers each weekday.

The eight-year contract also has a four-year option that could bring its total value to $4.26 billion.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the MBTA, said the selection process was fair.

“The careful and deliberate process was designed to ensure the best value for the public, customers, and the MBTA,” Pesaturo told the Globe. “The evaluation process involved a thorough assessment of operations and management, as well as costs and other financial components.”

MBCR has operated the commuter rail system since 2003.

Keolis‘ final bid would total about $254 million less over the full 12-year period than MBCR’s final bid, and Keolis will be paid $304 million in the first year of the contract, compared to the $316 million that MBCR currently receives, MBTA officials said at the time of the contract award.


Information from: The Boston Globe, https://www.bostonglobe.com

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