MBTA slated to vote on new commuter rail operator
As it closes in on a critical recommendation for the commuter rail service contract, the MBTA is defending a procurement process that one of the two bidders asserts was flawed.
The state's commuter rail system may soon be under new management.
According to a public agenda released by the MBTA Monday, the Massachusetts Board of Transportation on Wednesday plans to act on a contract with a new commuter rail system operator, Keolis Commuter Services LLC.
The contract would provide the MBTA with commuter rail services for a base period of eight years, with the option to extend for up to an additional four years.
The contract could not exceed $4.258 billion and would include a base contract amount of $2.686 billion.
The current operator, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company, also bid on the contract, and said it was "deeply disappointed" to learn through a recent Boston Globe report that the T had decided to go with Keolis.
"It is extremely disheartening for every one of (MBCR) dedicated employees and managers to read about (MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott) decision in the newspaper without first having had the courtesy of advance communication from the MBTA," the MBCR said in a statement Monday.
The MBTA defended its actions, saying in a statement that "the process has been fair, even-handed, and by the book."
When asked about the impact on passengers, a T spokesman said the new contract and capital investments will produce "significantly improved service and a commuter rail system that benefits daily riders and supports regional economic growth."
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