Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:41 pm

Frankly, I don't understand why Veolia doesn't bid on the contract as a single entity. Not sure what the point of the joint-venture was. Veolia is well-proven as being capable of leading other contracts on it's own.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby Red Wing » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:34 pm

Time to bring the Commuter Rail Operations in house.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:48 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Frankly, I don't understand why Veolia doesn't bid on the contract as a single entity. Not sure what the point of the joint-venture was. Veolia is well-proven as being capable of leading other contracts on it's own.


Pretty sure that would be illegal. They are part owners of MBCR. Not only would the state probably disqualify them for double-dipping, but they would get sued into oblivion by partners Bombardier and Alternative Concepts and be out tens or hundreds of millions from it.

MBCR was created for the expressed purpose of winning the T contract. Alternative Concepts were the local boys who could butter up the pols. Veolia went into the venture because they didn't think they could win it outright as outsiders. And that's probably still true now because losing the Metrolink contract in the aftermath of the Chatsworth crash gave them a big black eye and SPRINTER's foibles aren't exactly inspiring renewed confidence. They'll be down to 2 non-FRA compliant DMU lines if the T contract falls, pretty much shutting them out of the conventional U.S. commuter rail market (though they're still huge in this country on operating city buses). They need to stuff as much money in the pockets of local pols as they can get to have a chance, and they don't have that chance going it alone.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby Diverging Route » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:16 pm

From the MassDOT agenda:




MassDOT Boardroom
10 Park Plaza, Suite 3830
Boston, MA
January 8, 2014
1:00 P.M.
A- Open Meeting

- Public Comment Period
I. ACTION/DISCUSSION ITEMS

Request to authorize the MBTA General Manager and Rail & Transit Administrator to execute Commuter Rail Operating Agreement, Contract No. 159-12 Between Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ("MBTA") and Keolis Commuter Services, LLC to provide the MBTA with commuter rail services for a base period of eight years, with the option to extend for up to an additional (4) four years, in the amount not to exceed $4,258,131,062.00, with an initial base contract amount of $2,686,344,294.00.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby ns3010 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:01 pm

trainhq wrote:Everyone agrees that the old equipment has a lot to do with it, but the T felt they should have done better.


Amen. Yes, it doesn't help that the equipment is ancient, but it wouldn't be nearly as bad if MBCR put any effort into maintaining it...


I agree with everyone else that an operator change wouldn't be a bad thing. Of course, there's no guarantee that Keolis will do an amazing job, but the positive comments on their VRE contract give hope that things will change. The biggest issue with MBCR was probably that they didn't really need to try too hard since they were in a contract and would have it for at least a few years. And we all see where it got them.

I don't think Keolis would have submitted a bid if they didn't think they could (and would) run things better than MBCR. Hopefully (if they get the needed final votes for the contract, of course), we will see some immediate changes for the better and finally some positive feedback from customers.

And hopefully, if it does go to Keolis, we won't see any of MBCR's anger released dealt the riders in the next few months...
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby Diverging Route » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:15 am

And BOOM goes the dynamite. The sounds you hear are the lawyers queuing up for the protest...

Details from the Boston Globe.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby CRail » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

trainhq wrote:Everyone agrees that the old equipment has a lot to do with it, but the T felt they should have done better.


That's because no one thinks about how old the stuff actually is. Keep in mind that railroad equipment has a far greater life expectancy that anything that travels on pavement

As far as rolling stock is concerned (coaches), nothing is older than a Green Line type 7 with the exception of the 200 cars which, post rebuild, are holding together pretty well. Double decker cars are all from the 90s and later, spring chickens in railroad equipment terms.

Then there's the motive power. The oldest (revenue) engines are the 1100s built in the early 70s, but rebuilt heavily in 1997. Those are the true shop queens. The screamers are only 33-35 years old, and the stretch F40s are between 20 and 26 years old. The original 1100s were 45 years old when they retired, an age unmatched today (except by the current 1100s). While it's not unreasonable to say it's time for some new stuff, to call the fleet ancient is ridiculous. Blaming that for the amount of failures incurred while under MBCR management is absurd.

Compare that to some of what the T operates itself. Red line cars from 1969 and 1987, and orange line cars from 1979. All of this stuff, while on the older side, is not in excess of what it's expected to outlast.

MBCR is given X amount of money to hold the contract. It has a fixed income and it has fixed expenses, like manpower. It can decide, though, how much to spend on things like maintenance. The less that goes into maintenance, the more goes into profit. Neglecting equipment causes no capital loss for MBCR because they don't own anything, so they let it rot and wait for it to be the MBTA's problem. When this practice results in public outcry, MBCR does what it has been notorious for all along and blames the boss. They discovered that, by blaming the T's equipment, they get less backlash than when they blame the T for other things. This is because the T can say yes, our equipment is old, and not get a severe public outcry against them. The worst that will happen when the equipment is blamed is the gov't will step in and give funds for new stuff (which they have) and everyone's happy. That's why everyone agrees that the equipment is old, not because the equipment actually is all that old.

If the contractor actually keeps the stuff in good condition, the stuff will keep the service in good condition! What the MBTA should do is employ better enforcement tactics to make sure the contractor is properly investing in its equipment.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby octr202 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:06 pm

And the vote is in - and it is Keolis.

Cue the lawsuits from MBCR...
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby tvachon » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:14 pm

octr202 wrote:And the vote is in - and it is Keolis.

Cue the lawsuits from MBCR...


https://twitter.com/BostonGlobe/status/ ... 4427850752

I'm optimistic personally, I always have had the feeling that the MBCR was in under the old guard of nepotism which caused lax issues high up. The Gilford bid was a pure circus last time, this time they had a real competitor and they didn't stack up.

On a side note, I do wonder how the MBCR will handle this, with grace or akin to the "special" photos allegedly left in the copy machines by Clinton administration for Bush's. If today was an indication of no ill-will, I don't want to see ill-will. Our train had one car with no heat and one car with no working airbags. Switches at speed are well, unpleasant.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby dieciduej » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:22 pm

CRail wrote:
trainhq wrote:As far as rolling stock is concerned (coaches), nothing is older than a Green Line type 7 with the exception of the 200 cars which, post rebuild, are holding together pretty well. Double decker cars are all from the 90s and later, spring chickens in railroad equipment terms.

Then there's the motive power. The oldest (revenue) engines are the 1100s built in the early 70s, but rebuilt heavily in 1997. Those are the true shop queens. The screamers are only 33-35 years old, and the stretch F40s are between 20 and 26 years old. The original 1100s were 45 years old when they retired, an age unmatched today (except by the current 1100s). While it's not unreasonable to say it's time for some new stuff, to call the fleet ancient is ridiculous. Blaming that for the amount of failures incurred while under MBCR management is absurd.

Compare that to some of what the T operates itself. Red line cars from 1969 and 1987, and orange line cars from 1979. All of this stuff, while on the older side, is not in excess of what it's expected to outlast.


PCC 3087, delivered March 10, 1945 and still going at Mattapan, when it isn't snowing! :P

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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby MBTA1016 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:36 pm

dieciduej wrote:
CRail wrote:
trainhq wrote:As far as rolling stock is concerned (coaches), nothing is older than a Green Line type 7 with the exception of the 200 cars which, post rebuild, are holding together pretty well. Double decker cars are all from the 90s and later, spring chickens in railroad equipment terms.

Then there's the motive power. The oldest (revenue) engines are the 1100s built in the early 70s, but rebuilt heavily in 1997. Those are the true shop queens. The screamers are only 33-35 years old, and the stretch F40s are between 20 and 26 years old. The original 1100s were 45 years old when they retired, an age unmatched today (except by the current 1100s). While it's not unreasonable to say it's time for some new stuff, to call the fleet ancient is ridiculous. Blaming that for the amount of failures incurred while under MBCR management is absurd.

Compare that to some of what the T operates itself. Red line cars from 1969 and 1987, and orange line cars from 1979. All of this stuff, while on the older side, is not in excess of what it's expected to outlast.


PCC 3087, delivered March 10, 1945 and still going at Mattapan, when it isn't snowing! :P

JoeD


Joe that's the stat of the year so far to me, good job. :)
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:53 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:Frankly, I don't understand why Veolia doesn't bid on the contract as a single entity. Not sure what the point of the joint-venture was. Veolia is well-proven as being capable of leading other contracts on it's own.


Pretty sure that would be illegal. They are part owners of MBCR. Not only would the state probably disqualify them for double-dipping, but they would get sued into oblivion by partners Bombardier and Alternative Concepts and be out tens or hundreds of millions from it.


I meant back in 2000 or 2002 or whenever it was. Before they ever joined up with Bombardier and ATC. I'm wondering if they'll attempt it when the next bid comes up.

This is pretty freakin' huge that Keolis' second successful bid in the country is with the largest transportation contract in the country. The pressure was already intense, but I feel this is going to be really forcing contractors to step up their game throughout the country.
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Re: Keolis Bid Under Scrutiny (Again)

Postby sery2831 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:40 pm

Going to start a new thread on this topic: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=154098
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