MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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commuter rail contract

Postby mike4263 » Tue May 01, 2012 2:22 pm

Would anyone happen to know the status of or when the MBCR contract with the MBTA expires?
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Re: commuter rail contract

Postby Rbts Stn » Tue May 01, 2012 2:49 pm

If you google "MBTA" "MBCR" and "Contract", you get this link: http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news ... =1&year=10

I don't know if there's anything more recent
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Re: commuter rail contract

Postby mike4263 » Tue May 01, 2012 3:39 pm

Appreciate it Rbts Stn. Thanks.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail in the Future

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 25, 2012 10:13 am

Some news: http://www.wbur.org/2012/05/24/mbta-commuter-rail-bid

Pardon the unusually long quote; wanted to make sure I got all the releveant portions. Please let me or moderators know if another bidder comes to light.

BOSTON — The MBTA has set in motion a process that could lead to a change the private company that provides commuter rail service by sometime next summer.

On Friday, the state will send out a request for qualified bidders, hoping to attract the interest of the national and international railway companies capable of operating one of the largest commuter rail operations in the country.

...

Since 2003, the rail system has been run by a Boston-based private consortium that came together specifically to run the suburban lines, called the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company. MBCR’s original contract with the T was due to expire in 2008 but was extended until 2013.

...

“I think it has been the plan for the last couple of years to go out to bid on the contract,” said Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, who said there are more credible railway companies now than there were years earlier. “I’m hopeful that there will be a number of bidders.”

In planning for its bidding process, the MBTA is considering a longer contract period of up to 15 years, instead of the more standard five to eight-year contract length. That might attract more bidders, according to a presentation by MassDOT to the MBTA board of directors on Tuesday.

The longer contract length might also allow for the private vendor to purchase some of the train equipment. Currently, all capital purchases are made by the MBTA while the MBCR handles the operations. An alternative arrangement could reduce some state costs.

...

Before MBCR, Amtrak ran the commuter rail. According to Regan and Farmelant, the national railway company devoted little attention to its suburban commuters in Massachusetts. When the MBTA went out to bid about a decade ago, Amtrak decided not to try for it, Farmelant said. Amtrak was making an 11.5 percent profit from the railways, but the new contract limited MBCR to 6.2 percent, he said.

MBCR is a partnership between French-based transportation company Veolia Transdev, Montreal-based manufacturer Bombardier and Boston-based transportation management company Alternate Concepts, Farmelant said. He said MBCR would bid on the upcoming contract.

In 2011, commuters complained about persistently late trains on the commuter rail system, and MBCR responded by upgrading its maintenance facility and changing maintenance practices, which reduced late trains caused by mechanical failures, Farmelant said.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri May 25, 2012 10:31 am

I think this was to be expected, pretty much.


I have a question about if we were bringing operations "in house". What would happen when employees of Massachusetts cross the state line? Would the have to change hands over to Rhode Island employees?
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby Jeff Smith » Fri May 25, 2012 11:55 am

I would think the RI service is operated under contract to MBTA, which contracts it out to MBCR. It might be complicated for employees, though, as they are performing taxable employment in two states. It's possible the MBTA agreement with RI covers taxation.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri May 25, 2012 12:16 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:I would think the RI service is operated under contract to MBTA, which contracts it out to MBCR. It might be complicated for employees, though, as they are performing taxable employment in two states. It's possible the MBTA agreement with RI covers taxation.


Already does. They have RI-based crews and RI chucks in a subsidy for share of the equipment pool and all running miles beyond the border. Current setup is elastic enough that the MBTA wouldn't have to really change much of anything about the agreement to start being the mercenary operator for intra-RI service. Which would be nice for them because it's a lot of cost-effective added scale for the equipment and maintenance pool...not to mention an additional revenue stream fully compensated by a neighboring state. I'd expect them to bid aggressively on it.

Would be nicer if Amtrak took back the contract for MBCR, because they're really the T's only competition for RIDOT operatorship. And they own and dispatch.


Synergies, synergies, synergies. Or...more to the point...a competent NOT-MBCR outfit + those other synergies.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby Diverging Route » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:03 am

The Boston Globe is reporting just two bidders: MBCR and Keolis America.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby Teamdriver » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:54 am

Amtrak wants no part of this, Occupy Boston scared them away ( South Station was the bathroom ). Menino should have got the old TPF to roust them off the Gr$$nway.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby jaymac » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:47 am

AMTK is probably enjoying not being the scapegoat, an animal which the Great and General Court seems to be finding endangered. Only two bidders on a contract that big? Other would-bes must have been checking out the trails and tribulations and trivializations of commuter rail transportation...
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby KEN PATRICK » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:45 am

commuter rail runs at a substantial loss. contract services are a line item expense. does anyone know if mbcr has a profit? i guess mbta is convinced that the third party is less costly than in-house. is that analysis public? ken patrick
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:34 pm

jaymac wrote:Only two bidders on a contract that big?

At least they're legitimately competing with each other. Last time there were only two bidders as well, and the T had to cajole Guilford into submitting the second bid so they could at least pretend it was a competitive bidding process (I understand Guilford's bid was deliberately written to lose).
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby octr202 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:37 am

Honestly, I'm really not sure who else would have been likely to bid on this. While Pan Am/Guilford has done some wonky things in the past (not just the prior MBCR bid, of which I'd heard the same thing as above), but now seem to be interested in making the most of their freight franchise here in New England, so they're likely not interested in playing MBTA games.

Herzog/Transit America would likely be a promising bidder, but after how they were disqualified in the last go-around, I'm sure they took a look at this and said it wasn't worth their effort and expense. No doubt still a bitter taste from last time.

Amtrak - 'nuff said. Given the way the last contract ended, I couldn't blame them for not wanting back in. I don't think Occupy Boston scared them away - they're just not about to get back into a contract on the terms the MBTA now wants.

After that, who else is out there? Two of the other potential companies out there (Veolia and Bombardier) are already in there in MBCR. Not sure if there is anyone else out there doing these kind of contracts (aside from where CSXT, BNSF, and UP have contracts on their on systems).

Hopefully Keolis gets to compete all the way through here. I expect there will be some political games played like there were in VA and MD, trying to block them from being able to compete. While VRE is hardly on the same scale as our commuter rail operations, their performance seems to be good so far down there.
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby octr202 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:29 pm

MBCR looks to get a short term extension today.

http://www.wbur.org/2013/02/27/temporar ... l-operator

Not surprised...
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Re: MBTA to Continue to Contract Commuter Rail (Veolia/MBCR)

Postby sery2831 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:43 pm

Look for a 8 to 12 month extension awarded today. This is to buy time for the new contract bid process, since the last one was thrown out.
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