Losing commuter rail bidder MBCR sues to block MBTA deal with Keolis

The MBCR is hell bent on continuing to manage the MBTA's commuter rail system. (matthrono/Flickr)
The MBCR is hell bent on continuing to manage the MBTA’s commuter rail system. (matthrono/Flickr)

Two months after The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. lost its bid to carry on managing the region’s commuter rail system, the company is heading to court to ask a judge not to let the winning bidder, Keolis Commuter Services, take over on July 1.

The MBCR filed the injunction in Suffolk Superior Court Thursday on the basis that the 8-year, $2.686 billion Keolis contract was allegedly awarded due to favoritism.

In its court filing, MBCR also cites “irreparable harm” created by the MBTA’s decision to sign on with Keolis, and claims the MBTA refused to review the MBCR’s formal protest “in a timely manner.”

The request for injunction follows the discovery of what the MBCR describes as “multiple, serious deficiencies and errors” in the public procurement documents, including a $428 million understatement of actual commuter rail costs in the MBTA’s Independent Cost Estimate.

Those costs include guaranteed annual wage benefits worth nearly $5,000 per employee and $10 million in existing costs for parts and materials that are required to maintain trains, the company said, estimating the actual bid price falls more than $500 million below the “realistic price of operating the system.”

“The procurement process was deeply flawed; the MBTA failed to put the bidders on an equal footing, made arbitrary and capricious decisions, failed to follow the terms of the bid documents or do minimum due diligence, and was influenced by misrepresentations made by SNCF/Keolis,” the filing states.

Alan Moldawer, an attorney for MBCR, said in a statement released via email that
the holes in the MBTA’s procurement process “are big enough to drive a locomotive through.”

“Every bid for a government contract must adhere to a strict, legally proscribed process, but the MBTA ignored its fundamental responsibility to provide a level playing field to both bidders and overlooked obvious deficiencies that allowed SNCF/Keolis to stay in the bid process.”

MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo told the Boston Globe that if the MBCR proceeds to seek an injunction, it will do so “in blatant violation” of the procedural rules to which the company agreed.

The injunction would also violate the contractual promises it made to the T under its current contract, Pesaturo said.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.