The board of trustees for the Triangle Transit Authority (TTA) in Research Triangle Park, N.C., awarded a $90.1 million contract to United Transit Systems (UTS) to supply up to 32 diesel multiple unit (DMU) railcars for its regional rail system.
Prior to the vote to award the contract, the TTA board rejected a protest by Sumitomo Corp. of America (SCOA) to the UTS recommendation. SCOA, one of many companies responding to TTA’s request for proposals in early 2004, offered $116 million for the contract.
TTA General Manager John Claflin recommended that the board reject the protest. “After careful consideration and a thorough investigation of all of the issues presented to date by Sumitomo, I believe that there is sufficient evidence to support that UTS meets the requirements of the RFP.”
In addition, Claflin said that “UTS compared favorably to all aspects of the technical requirements, and indicated similar vehicle, training, spare parts and documentation costs, but provided a much lower cost regarding its design development and project oversight costs.”
UTS is a consortium of Tokyo-headquartered trading company Sojitz Corp. of America and Seoul, South Korea-based rolling-stock manufacturer Rotem Co. Under the contract, UTS will provide a minimum of 24 railcars, configured as 12 married pairs, and an option for eight additional vehicles configured as four additional married pairs. Each married pair can carry 160 passengers seated.
The vehicles will be used to serve the 12-station, 28-mile regional rail transit system from Durham, N.C., to the Research Triangle Park, Cary and Raleigh scheduled to begin operation in 2008.
UTS will manufacture the railcar body shells at Rotem’s rolling stock plants in Korea, and final assembly will take place at Rotem’s facility in Philadelphia. In compliance with the Federal Transit Administration’s 60% Buy America-requirement, Colorado Railcar will supply the propulsion system for the DMUs