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Rail Buy to Create Local Jobs
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has contracted with China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation to build 64 new rail cars for the Metro Red and Purple Lines, a major procurement that will bring new manufacturing jobs to the Los Angeles region and help Metro maintain and expand its subway system.
Metro’s Notice To Proceed kickstarts production of HR4000 heavy rail vehicles that will be used to replace existing trains now traveling between downtown Los Angeles, Mid-Wilshire District and North Hollywood. Thirty-four of the new cars will also be used for the Metro Purple Line’s first four-mile extension from the Mid-Wilshire District to Beverly Hills when the line officially opens in 2023.
China Railway has committed to delivering the first pilot vehicle by the spring of 2020, and the entire base order of 64 subway cars by September 2021. Metro may also choose to exercise up to five options to buy an additional 218 subway cars. Combined, the base order with options is valued at $647 million, and is funded by a combination of local and federal sources, including a percentage of Measure R sales tax proceeds.
The contract also will create approximately 50 local jobs generating up to $38 million in local wages and benefits. Approximately 10 percent of all new jobs created will go to targeted disadvantaged workers. A new facility will be purchased in the L.A. area to manufacture major components for propulsion, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems. Manufacturing the subway cars’ exterior shell will take place in the company’s facility in Changchun, China, and final assembly will be done in Springfield, Massachusetts. The contract exceeds the federal government’s “Buy America” provisions, which require 60 percent of component parts be American-made.
“Today Metro is bringing yet another rail car manufacturer to the region to help build the trains we need to keep L.A. moving,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana, referring to an earlier contract with Kinkisharyo International, LLC to assemble light rail vehicles in Palmdale. “We are making good on our commitment to wisely invest in transportation projects that directly benefit our local workforce and economy.”
Metro is doing its part to help local workers secure similar jobs. The agency is preparing to unveil its Workforce Initiative Now Program later this year. The program will educate, train and provide opportunities for residents to apply for transportation-related jobs and launch careers in this dynamic industry.
“We are a growing system that needs qualified, trained and prepared talent to keep us running,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “This new workforce program will create a path for those who want a job maintaining our new subway cars in the future.”
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Metro to design and build a state of the art vehicle for Los Angeles,” said Jia Bo, vice president for China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation’s Massachusetts office. “Our team is committed to work collaboratively with Metro to demonstrate our technology and manufacturing capabilities in the rail car industry. With inclusion and workforce development a priority, we will continue to engage the community and partner with organizations and institutions to stimulate the local economy through education, training, and job creation in railcar manufacturing.”
In addition to future use on the Purple Line Extension, 30 new heavy rail vehicles will replace original subway vehicles that have an average life of 25 years.
In selecting China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation for the contract, Metro determined that the firm offered the overall best value proposal. The company had the highest rated technical offer and lowest price while offering the most robust Local Employment Program and highest U.S. component content. China Railway also has an excellent record for on-time vehicle delivery and quality, among other criteria. There are no U.S.-owned rail car manufacturers.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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