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DavidH

Metrolinx Transit Purchasing Initiative

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For 2009/10, the Joint Bus Procurement initiative led by MTO (and likely to transition to Metrolinx next year) will source conventional 40 foot diesel, 40 foot hybrid, and 30 foot disel buses.

The following agencies will be participating:

Barrie

Belleville

Burlington

Cobourg

Cornwall

Durham Region

Elliot Lake

Hamilton

Kingston

London

Milton

Niagara Falls

North Bay

Sarnia

St. Catharines

Welland

York Region

Note that this term of the program will be a new RFP which means that we may see another vendor this time around instead of New Flyer. The RFP will go out this summer, so we will likely know by the fall.

In terms of numbers, I know Durham Region expects to order 22 40 foot diesel and 2 30 foot buses in 2009 and 23 and 2 in 2010, plus 26 hybids for a BRT implementation during the two years (which year is not clear), but I don't know about other agencies. Final numbers for 2009 do not have to be in until March 31 2009 in any case, so any current numbers would be very subject to change.

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:P (Relieved that Thunder Bay is not in this)

Why? We don't know who the selected vendor will be; it may be Nova or Orion this time around. And second, any agency that *really* does not want to go with the selected vendor is free to drop out after the vendor is selected.

Agencies still get to pick options for their buses and so can customize to some extent. Given all of that, I can't see a downside here. They do less work to handle procurement and they save money.

What's your thinking?

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:P Oh. Should have read the WHOLE thing before posting. Sorry. After reading it, it DOES look nice (if Nova gets the contract, some HEVs would be nice)

PS are the DRT's 30' buses included in this?

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PS are the DRT's 30' buses included in this?

This year's 30 foot order is not, because the 2007/2008 procurement program was for 40 foot diesel only. Next year's 30 foot order will go into the program, though.

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It will go to New Flyer, I can tell you now.

If it doesn't, it's a sure thing London, Hamilton, probably half of those agencies will drop out.

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I would expect that should New Flyer win, the 40 foot buses will be D40LFRs and DE40LFRs.

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Thunder Bay will never join this. We love bureaucratic wastes of money. We don't even know how many buses we're getting this year! Is it 3 or is it 5? They have no idea! It will be a surprise. :P

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As reading along and as DavidH mentioned it, there will be few of them will be decide to drop out.

Some nit picks I can tell you:

When Elliot Lake was going for 2 LF back in 2004, many seniors do not want to buy D40LF because of steps as well the VII, they end up getting LFS because of the rear flat floor. Gee, how easy is that which right now the LFS now have Podium as standard.

Milton is an interesting to see, since the newest and crappiest Ultra LF was piggyback from Oakville and now going on their own. Ridership is not up to par as of yet.

St. Catharines.... they love the old ends. Been told a couple of years ago they hate the restyled version.

Few others are on the list are interesting. Cornwall may be getting some 30ft as their ridership has sunken low since they lost the school contract.

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its always NFI, and plus YRTs so many NFI already so why change it...standarization is the easiest thing to do

Your statement that it's "always NFI" is based on a sample size of one, considering that 2007/8 was the first time this has been done.

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It will be very interesting if it ends up being Orion this year and Hamilton doesn't drop out (though very unlikely that they wouldn't in that case). I've always wondered what an Orion VII NG would look like in Hamilton.

Either way I hope the HSR goes in for hybrid's this time. The DE41LF's only sour point in my eyes is that there's only a couple of them for the whole system. Not enough to pass around the high density routes. More than enough conventional diesels for the low capacity routes now. About 22 new hybrid diesels will be enough with the existing 6(?) to spread around the high density routes, while retiring all of the Classics and maybe cutting into the Orion VI's/NovaLFS/NFI C40LF's that may need to be retired.

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Nova is bringing back the steps? I find those buses are better. Don't ask how. I just prefer buses with steps. I absolutely hate the VIs. If I was in charge I'd be nice and give ours to Elliot Lake for free. They have no high floor portion at all, perfect for seniors! :) (And small communities that need 40 foot buses that seat as many as a 30 foot bus.)

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Nova is bringing back the steps? I find those buses are better. Don't ask how. I just prefer buses with steps. I absolutely hate the VIs. If I was in charge I'd be nice and give ours to Elliot Lake for free. They have no high floor portion at all, perfect for seniors! :) (And small communities that need 40 foot buses that seat as many as a 30 foot bus.)

Did you forget that our 06' and 07' LFS have steps as well?? ;)

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Metrolinx will be taking over this initiative effective next Monday assuming that the board approves this on Friday. This should be a routine approval given it's a relatively small program and it's been expected from some time that Metrolinx will take over.

But the Metrolinx report on this gives us the timeline for a vendor decision: October.

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At this point, the numbers for BT are 6, (4 replacements, 2 expansion). Of course, the city's focused on backward-thinking as they're more concerned about not falling in the red more rather then moving forward on getting the accessibility issue solved here (or at least making a more modern fleet to keep up with the times.)

In any event, those numbers can change as long as city's budgets change. Seeing things from the inside, I feel more that they may.

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Did you forget that our 06' and 07' LFS have steps as well?? :P

That isn't one of the things I pay close attention to but now that you mention it, yes, they do don't they? I prefer the ones with steps.

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:huh:

It would be nice if Belleville got some D40LF's or LFR.

There is a small risk that Orion might win this bid.. hopefully they don't as we don't need anymore pollution in Belleville.

Didn't they get D40LF recently? Or was I thinking of Kingston! All those eastern transit systems are all the same to me. LOL.

I can tell you 99% it won't be Orion since their NG is a premium product and these government deals always go to lowest/cheapest bidder/product. And before Dan stops me here; no proof, just gut instinct! 75% will be the D40LF and not LFR.

Got to love our function over form policy!

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Didn't they get D40LF recently? Or was I thinking of Kingston! All those eastern transit systems are all the same to me. LOL.

I can tell you 99% it won't be Orion since their NG is a premium product and these government deals always go to lowest/cheapest bidder/product. And before Dan stops me here; no proof, just gut instinct! 75% will be the D40LF and not LFR.

Got to love our function over form policy!

And just because you think that the NG is a premium product does not mean Orion will bid a high price.

I mean, look at the recent MT Tender for 69 buses, Orion was right up there, only about $4000 per unit more than NFI. IMO they are bidding low to get some business at least.

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Didn't they get D40LF recently? Or was I thinking of Kingston! All those eastern transit systems are all the same to me. LOL.

I can tell you 99% it won't be Orion since their NG is a premium product and these government deals always go to lowest/cheapest bidder/product. And before Dan stops me here; no proof, just gut instinct! 75% will be the D40LF and not LFR.

Got to love our function over form policy!

I'll be your proof:

I work in the maintenance department at a Non-Profit Housing Authority for a municipality in the greater golden horseshoe. I have seen many policy documents (public record) that clearly state that the lowest acceptable bidder must be awarded the contract.

Now, what does lowest acceptable bidder mean?

I means that the product that costs the least over the lifetime of the product, if and only if that product is made by a reputable company.

Here's an example:

Orion costs $10 to buy and $1 per year to maintain

New Flyer costs $5 to buy and $5 per year to maintain

Gino's Bus Company costs $1 to buy and $1 per year to maintain

Who wins?

Gino is disqualified because an investigation revealed that they have never even built a bus before - Unacceptable bidder.

Orion wins because over the life of the bus, you will have to spend less to put and keep the bus on the road.

So yes, the lowest bidder wins, but Metrolinx will look at the entire life-cycle of the bus, including parts and possibly even the costs to certify mechanics on new products.

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So yes, the lowest bidder wins, but Metrolinx will look at the entire life-cycle of the bus, including parts and possibly even the costs to certify mechanics on new products.

Let's talk about what the contract signed by the municipalities, as well as the Metrolinx report on the transition of the program, actually say. The process for this RFP is based on a point system. There are mandatory items that must be met, or the respondant's proposal is disqualified. Next, there are items that will be rated based on compliance. These requirements will be set jointly by all of the participating agencies via a steering committee process. Note that this doesn't mean that they all get the same bus; the approach is to spec a "base bus" and then allow optional extras to be chosen by each agency as per their needs.

Next, the base price plus pricing of a spare parts basket will be rated and assigned points. Note that the people doing the scoring will not even see the pricing until all of the previous steps have been done, so that the scoring will be done "blind".

The award will go to the highest rating respondant, which may NOT be the lowest bidder if the lowest bidder lost points in another area.

This approach prevents lowball bids because they will lose points in the areas besides cost, and may even miss out on mandatory items. Also, agencies that are not happy with the results of the RFP are under no obligation to actually buy buses via this process.

This is actually more common approach than lowest bidder in many areas of government procurement, including the RFP's for which I am most familiar with - software development projects for local and state governments. Lowest bidder is only a feasible approach when the requirements to be met are relatively straightforward.

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For 2009/10, the Joint Bus Procurement initiative led by MTO (and likely to transition to Metrolinx next year) will source conventional 40 foot diesel, 40 foot hybrid, and 30 foot disel buses.

The following agencies will be participating:

Barrie

Belleville

Burlington

Cobourg

Cornwall

Durham Region

Elliot Lake

Hamilton

Kingston

London

Milton

Niagara Falls

North Bay

Sarnia

St. Catharines

Welland

York Region

I'll offer my thoughts for if whatever manufacturer wins:

If Nova wins:

The only system out of all of these would be Belleville as they have Novas and wouldn't hesitate to go with them. The rest though, would be shut out based on their past history or their current fleet. The systems which would've relied on 30 foot diesels would be shut out completely as there isn't a 30 foot Nova LFS being produced.

If Orion wins:

York Region would consider them for Hybrid buses anyways, not really for 30 foot though. Sytems such as Cornwall or Cobourg may consider the 30 foot VII though. The other systems may get diesels and hybrids. I'm not sure with the rest of them in my opinion. They may, or may not. I'd say Niagra Falls would be the only system which would go with Orion as they're working at becoming more accessible. These VII's would already have the wheelchair securements set up for them without them having to retrofit them. 30 foot VII's may suit Cornawall, Cobourg, Welland Elliott Lake and Sarnia. In each case, they're suitable for 30 foot vehicles. I'm not quite certain about Cornwall's case. However Sarnia's interesting only that they may want a 40 footer if they really need one. Otherwise, the 30 foot VII could suit them just fine.

If New Flyer wins:

This would make almost each system happy for sure. From Barrie, Kingston, Hamilton, Burlington, DRT to York Region, London and St. Catherines, too. They all have New Flyers and to this point anyway, haven't had issues with them. If there are any issues from each system, I'd be happy to hear about them if there are, that is.

If ElDorado wins:

The smaller systems which want 30 foot buses or are in need of them wouldn't have any problems accepting that contract. What would be interesting though is if there'd be a system out there willing to have them build Axxess's. Then again, Brantford Transit's example of their 2001 ex-demo just means that it's not the greatest 40 foot low floor bus available. Not a proven model to speak of.

Is ABC company bidding? They're the ones who represent VanHool, right? Perhaps they can get involved.

Edited by newflyerinvero

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I don't think it will be nearly that complicated. When it comes down to it, I'll be surprised if anyone aside from New Flyer actually puts any effort into their bid. Pretty much all of the agencies involved are very faithful to New Flyer and Orion/Nova know it would be very hard to cater to them. Easier to just stick to which agencies favor them.

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How come all the other cities have had such luck with Newflyers while ours are crap? And then the opposite for the Novas? That's weird.

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