Mayor, CTA privately talked about $300 million no-bid deal
Plans fell through after disclosures about poor quality work surfaced
By Jon Hilkevitch and David Kidwell, Chicago Tribune reporters
8:26 a.m. CDT, April 12, 2012
The Emanuel administration and the CTA engaged in private discussions on a $300 million no-bid contract with the maker of the transit agency's new rail cars, but the talks collapsed amid disclosures about the poor quality of the company's work, the Tribune has learned.
Bombardier Transportation's pitch to build and operate a South Side rail car overhaul facility on vacant city and CTA land in a CTA rail yard took off in May 2011 after Mayor Rahm Emanuel was elected, CTA officials told the newspaper.
The talks over the public-private partnership continued for 10 months, "in keeping with the mayor's priority of creating jobs and generating economic development," CTA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan said.
CTA lawyers had been working to justify the unusual practice of awarding such a large contract without competitive bids, the transit agency said.
But the city and CTA backed away from the talks in recent weeks amid Tribune reports that disclosed defective-parts problems with Bombardier's ongoing production of 706 new rail cars under a contract that totals $1.14 billion.
Rest of Article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,5215344.story
Kinda a bummer as it would have been nice to have the refurb shops in Chicago. I'm sure they'll work something out though in the long run even if they have to bid it out.
In other news, they started refurbishing the Belmont Blue Line Station yesterday. Can't wait for that dingy POS to be shinny and white inside like the Logan Sqaure stop is.