California- Metrolink, a commuter rail system in Southern California, plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for its first-ever combined operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Metrolink oversees seven routes on a 538-mile network. An event will be held on Feb. 15 and 16 in Pomona for contractors, subcontractors, vendors and suppliers who have expertise and/or offer services or products to the rail industry. Those attending will have the opportunity to review the draft RFP. The anticipated term of the resulting contract will be for a base period of seven years with two optional renewal periods of four years each.
The expected contract will involve a wide array of primary operational functions, as well as related ancillary services required to support all aspects of the rail system. Some of those operational functions will include: train operations and crew services; materials acquisition and management to support the infrastructure, systems and equipment; and maintenance on railroad facilities, rolling stock, signal, track and railroad facilities. The final RFP is expected to be released in spring 2019, with mandatory pre-proposal meetings and tours following the issuance of the RFP.
Maryland– Maryland has re-launched development of the State Center project in Midtown Baltimore. The Maryland Stadium Authority and the Maryland Department of General Services issued a request for expression of interest (RFEOI)in taking over the redevelopment of 28 acres of state offices. The site is considered a transit-oriented development by city and state officials for its location adjacent to subway and light rail stops. It’s also near Symphony Center, a complex of apartments, offices and shops. The project, however, remains mired in lawsuits with a developer that began working on a $1.5 billion plan in 2009.
Baltimore sued the firm for its delayed progress and the firm countersued the city for breaking contract. It’s not clear how the litigation will be resolved, or if the project can proceed. The RFEOI is viewed as the first step in a multi-step process of selecting a new master developer which will serve as a basis for creating a short list of firms invited to respond to a request for proposals. Responses from interested developers are due Aug. 22 and results are expected in September.
California-The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) is conducting a feasibility study to identify and evaluate a range of high-capacity rail transit alternatives between the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to the study, which began in December 2017, Metro is hosting a series of community meetings to solicit input. The study is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2019 and will be the basis for future environmental analysis.
The route proposed for the project experiences heavy travel with more than 400,000 people a day traveling through the area. Funding will come from Measure M, a transportation sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The project will receive $9.8 billion from this sales tax funding. The LA Metro wants to expedite the project through a public-private partnership. The first stage of the project is expected to open in 2033, however, the goal is to have it open for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Michigan- Michigan has launched an $8 million grant program for ride-sharing companies, automakers, transit agencies and advocacy groups to develop new mobility options for seniors, handicapped residents and military veterans. The state has issued a request for bids that is due by July 6. The first round of winning bidders will have 60 days to launch innovative pilot programs. The funding for the pilot program comes from the supplemental spending bill Gov. Rick Snyder signed in March which includes $175 million in extra roads and transportation funding, including $15 million the state could use on next-generation connected vehicle projects, hydrogen fueling stations and ride-sharing pilot projects.
The state plans to award grants to projects of various sizes based on submissions and proposed service areas. They’ll be used to subsidize a portion of costs to plan, implement and monitor the pilot projects for three to six months. The state expects to fund projects in urban, rural and suburban communities in coordination with current services.